At a meet-and-greet in East Cobb on Friday evening, two Democratic candidates for Georgia state legislative seats outlined their priorities and reasons for running. Karín Sandiford is campaigning for Georgia House District 46, and Christine Triebsch is running for the Georgia Senate District 32 seat. Both districts are in East Cobb, and are currently represented by Republican legislators.
Sandiford has lived in East Cobb for over 11 years. She is an engineer and recently graduated from Emory University with an executive MBA.
She said, “I literally have a kid in every level of education in this district, from elementary, middle, high school, and Chattahoochee Technical College. So they motivate me. I’m a little bit invested in education and funding. I’m invested in keeping our children safe. I want my children in school focusing on taking class and not worried about taking bullets. I’m very much a person who’s looking for pragmatic solutions, like the everyday parent.”
On gun control, she said, “I am 100 percent a Second Amendment supporter, and believe that we can do that and also do gun reform to keep our children safe. It’s not a bipolar, binary decision. My opponent made a bill on distracted drivers, and I say this is a great start. What did we do with the distracted drivers? We said ‘We’re not taking your phones away. We’re just letting you know there a few things to do to keep people safe’.” Same exact thing with gun reform. We’re not taking anybody’s anything away. But we want to do some things to keep our children and our community safer.”
Asked her opinion on the walkout by a group of East Cobb high school students to commemorate the Parkland, Florida school shootings, she said she is supportive of students speaking out and was disappointed at the punitive reaction of the Cobb County school board.
Sandiford said that she has been a Christian all her life, is the daughter of a missionary and is a strong supporter of the separation of church and state. “I feel passionate about protecting the right of everyone to worship in the way that they need to worship because I want to be able to do that myself.”
Triebsch, an attorney, said that when she previously ran against the incumbent in a special election for SD 32, she received 43 percent of the East Cobb vote and found it encouraging.
She said, “I’m running because the election in 2016 caused me great concern. The concern was that we had a president who was threatening to investigate an opponent, which we don’t do here. We don’t do that here in the United States. We don’t have our political opponents investigated or threatened to be jailed. That caused me great concern as an attorney. Then we had our president making fun of disabled people, and that really concerned me as well.”
Before she ran for SD 32 in the special election, she said she had never considered running for public office. “Never in my wildest dreams was politics on my radar, ever.”
Asked what her priorities would be, she said, “I believe that Georgians should have access to quality, affordable health care. I also believe we should expand Medicaid. Everybody needs to be insured. The fact that we didn’t expand Medicaid shocks me, and the fact that everyone isn’t insured shocks me as well.”
“We also need to fully fund all of our public schools,” she said. “We need to make sure that students are safe in school, but we should never be having a conversation about arming our educators. Never.”
She said her third issue is gerrymandering. “We, the voters, need to elect our representatives, instead of our representatives deciding who’s going to be voting for them.”
The Democratic, Republican, and nonpartisan primaries will be held May 22, 2018.