With less than two months to go before Election Day, candidates are joining the race for the 14th District State Senate seat.
Republican candidates Nicole Ebbeskotte, Matt Laughridge, Dwight Pullen and Dean Sheridan have announced their intent to run. In July, Bruce Thompson announced he is vying for the seat. Visit www.ledgernews.com to view his announcement. Outgoing Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, resigned the Senate seat to run for 11th District Congress.
The election for Senate District 14 will occur in portions of Bartow, Cherokee and Cobb counties on Nov. 5.
Ebbeskotte, 42, has resided in Cherokee County for 12 years. She served in the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office as the public information officer for seven years under current Sheriff Roger Garrison. She earned the rank of corporal.
Currently, Ebbeskotte works as an executive for a local property management company and plays a role in community activities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in conflict management. She also is certified as a mediator and arbitrator.
“I have always enjoyed serving the citizens of Cherokee County. Now, I want to broaden my service to the next level by representing the people in Senate District 14,” Ebbeskotte said.
In addition to her professional involvement, Ebbeskotte has served on the Cherokee Leadership Steering committee, as well as the Board of Directors for the Cherokee County chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.
“I have served the Cherokee community in a variety of different capacities over the years and feel it is time I expand my services for citizens of Cherokee County at a state level,” Ebbeskotte said.
Laughridge, 25, is an owner of Terry Reid Automotive in Cartersville, and he serves as the company’s vice president.
“I think that my perspective is going to be very helpful for the change that we need, a new generational change, we need spirited people in there and I think my age will help contribute to that,” he said.
Laughridge is the youngest trustee for the Dealers Election Action Committee of the National Auto Dealers Association, and two years ago, he was elected as the youngest treasurer for the Etowah Scholarship Foundation. In 2005, he worked on the passage of Joshua’s Law, which set new requirements for teen driver education in the state of Georgia.
“Over the next eight weeks, I’m asking my neighbors and colleagues in the towns and communities across this region to join a movement for conservative leadership that can improve the fundamentals for sustained economic growth, meet the 21st Century demands of educating our next generation, and drive our state’s government to be more efficient, transparent and responsive,” Laughridge said in his Sept. 10 announcement.
Pullen, 53, currently works as an assistant professor and partnership coordinator for Central Michigan University. He also served more than 30 years as a teacher, curriculum director, a principal at three different schools and as a school superintendent for Chattooga County schools.
“My career aspiration has not been to seek elected office,” Pullen said. “However, after much reflection, it’s clear that District 14 needs a representative who will effectively voice our concerns and expectations as issues are debated at the State Capitol.”
In addition to his professional career, he has served as the elected president of the Summerville/Trion Optimist Club and as a member of the Summerville Trion Rotary Club, he also served as chairman of the City of Canton Planning and Zoning Commission from 1997 to 2007.
“I am a father, grandfather, retired educator, former business owner and a seasoned communicator. I will advocate for more jobs and continued funding of education in our area,” he said. “Due to current economic conditions, it is imperative we work together to prepare the future for our young people.”
Sheridan, 51, calls himself a conservative leader. The businessman is a managing partner in the power and energy industry.
Sheridan said he and his family have lived in Cherokee County for 14 years. He and his wife have four children — three currently attend Cherokee County public schools. His oldest son recently graduated from North Georgia College. “I pledge to the citizens of the 14th District that I will not be a ‘business as usual’ politician, more concerned about re-election or pleasing special interests,” Sheridan said. “I will be the conservative voice to represent the values of hardworking people of the 14th.”
He is an active member of the Cherokee County Republican Party, Grassroots Conservatives of Cherokee and Tea Party Patriots. In the past, Sheridan has served as the county co-chair for Newt 2012, 2013 State Delegate to the Georgia GOP and secretary of the 2013 Cherokee County GOP Convention. He said that in his free time he enjoys training for local charity races. Sheridan and his family attend Peachtree Christian Church.