Stacy Hall and Bo Hatchett, both from Habersham County, will compete in the Aug. 11 Republican runoff to represent District 50 in the Georgia Senate. The winner Aug. 11 will face Democrat Dee Daley on the ballot in November.
District 50 includes part of East Hall.
Here’s a look at each candidate and their views on key issues:
Experience: Hall and his wife Ivy own a real estate development business. He was elected to the Habersham County Board of Commissioners in 2016 and is the board’s current chairman.
Residence: Habersham County
Experience: Hatchett is an attorney in Cornelia and owns a small real estate business.
Residence: Habersham County
Hall: “When we have a crisis, a lot of times government will, in a genuine effort to want to help, sometimes overstep or overreach. That sometimes can limit our constitutional rights, but it also can have unintended consequences and at times can deter businesses. So, my effort would be just to simply remove, as much as we can, government from the process, perhaps cut down some regulations and remove other bureaucratic burdens from the government and allow them the space they need to grow.”
Hatchett: Hatchett said he hopes to implement President Donald Trump’s economic agenda on the state level and support local businesses as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
“We have to get Georgians back to work,” he said. “That starts with supporting small businesses and also supporting local agricultural industries that are the engine of Northeast Georgia. The engine of Georgia is agriculture.”
Hall: Hall said he opposes a mask mandate but said people should do what they can to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and promote overall health.
“I do believe that all of us have a personal responsibility to take care of our own health and the health of our neighbors to make sure that we’re using common sense approaches to limit as much as possible not only the spread of the virus, but just to take care of everyone’s health in general,” he said.
Hatchett: Hatchett said he is opposed to a mask mandate.
“I think it’s your constitutional right to decide how to best protect yourself against this type of virus,” Hatchett said. “If you are vulnerable, I would probably suggest wearing a mask. I don’t think it’s a government’s role to mandate anyone.”
Demonstrations and police funding
Hall: “I certainly believe that all of us are created equal in the image of God, and the Bible calls us to love God and love others. … As we love others, we need to be listening to them,” Hall said.
He said he opposes movements to cut police funding.
“Every area in the country that has defunded the police has just spiraled out of control and crime has shot through the roof,” Hall said. “… I stand with our law enforcement, who in this environment are absolutely under attack.”
Hatchett: Hatchett said he is “opposed to any suggestion about defunding the police” and as a legislator would work to ensure law enforcement have adequate funding.