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Five Republicans — two incumbents and three challengers — are seeking Georgia’s House District 1 and 2 seats, both of which represent Walker County. The general primary election will be May 24.District 1 race: Incumbent and challenger vie for postRunning in District 1, which includes Dade and the western half of Walker counties, are two candidates: incumbent Mike Cameron and challenger Jackie Harling.Mike Cameron was first elected to his House seat in 2020 after a three-way primary against incumbent John Deffenbaugh and Vikki Mills and a subsequent run-off race against Deffenbaugh. He took office in January 2021 and is now seeking a second term. He holds degrees in business and history, and he worked for 32 years with Blue Cross Blue Shield, including in regulatory positions.Cameron has also served as chair of the Walker County Republican Party.Among his prouder accomplishments, Cameron says, is the work he did helping to lead the fight for a multi-person commission in Walker County. Cameron says he’s pleased with how the new commission is doing. “It takes time to grow,” he says, “but I think they’re making good progress.”The other candidate in the District 1 race, Jackie Harling, writes on her Facebook page, “I am a born-again Christian, a wife, a small business owner, a singer, and my favorite, a mother. I have always been an outspoken Christian conservative, however, I had never envisioned myself running for public office.”Harling says that watching “the fraudulent 2020 election go on without action from our legislators” is what drove her to run for the state House.“I will always vote to protect our Second Amendment rights,’ Harling says, “[and] for election integrity and security, our children’s education, life, which starts at conception, our brave law enforcement, medical freedom, and the Constitution.”“I will always be a strong voice of opposition to corruption,” Harling continues on her Facebook page, “damaging curriculums such as Critical Race Theory, vaccine and mask mandates, government overreach, tax increases, and the radical left that is trying to tear our country apart.”District 2 race: Incumbent, two candidates in the runningDistrict 2, the eastern half (roughly) of Walker, southwest corner of Catoosa, and a southwestern portion of Whitfield, offers voters three options in the way of candidates: incumbent Steve Tarvin, plus Todd Noblitt and Jim Coles.Steve Tarvin is serving his fourth term as state representative and is seeking a fifth two-year term. He says he sees his job in the Legislature as keeping the state out of debt, keeping taxes low and working to maintain the liberty for people to live lives as free of government intervention as possible.Practicing what he preaches, Tarvin says of his $60,000-$70,000 government expense account that he‘s only spent around $4,000 of it.Tarvin started working for Krystal Springs for minimum wage as a young man and became part owner of the company within 12 years. He’s one of those rare people, he says, who held the same job his whole life.Tarvin says he’s committed to fighting the intrusiveness of thousands of bills, often just duplicates of others, introduced in the Georgia legislature each year.“My job in Atlanta,” says Tarvin, “is one of service, not authority.”Also running in the District 2 race is Todd Noblitt. Noblitt is the founder of Noblitt, Goss & Associates Insurance Services. He holds an associate’s degree in general studies from Dalton College and a bachelor’s degree in ministry studies from Shorter College.Noblitt has served in many leadership roles over the years, including as past president of Chattanooga Valley Firemen’s Club, Awana commander at Oakwood Baptist Church, chairman of the Mission Committee at Chattanooga Valley Baptist Church and coach of several recreational baseball, basketball and football teams.He’s also served as chair of the Walker County Republican Party, member of the 14th District Republican Party Committee, as well as the state committee of the Georgia Republican Party.Noblitt says he believes strongly in “the rotation of government,” which he says will help “prevent corruption, cronyism and stagnation which will improve the representation of the citizenry and protect their freedoms.”“It is the voter’s responsibility and duty as a citizen,” says Noblitt, “to limit terms by exercising their right to vote.”Noblitt is pro-life, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and states’ rights as well as conservative moral and fiscal values.He says he believes in people engaging in civil conversation to help create fresh perspectives.The third candidate in the District 2 race is Jim Coles. A retired nurse after a 30-year career including positions in management at Erlanger Hospital and also 13 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force nurse reserves, Coles now runs a 150-acre cattle and horse farm, along with his son.Coles says one thing he’s especially proud of is the Bible study he and his wife started 12 years ago. It’s still going strong today.Coles says the 2020 elections made him mad. “It made me sick. Georgia legislators had a chance to put the brakes on what was happening and didn’t do anything to stop it.”Coles says he’s running as a “delegislator,” not a legislator.
Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.
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