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District 53 House candidates Q&A
by Caroline Young
July 25, 2012 10:18 AM | 2201 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jason Esteves
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Editor’s note: Three Democrats — Jason Esteves, Shelia Jones and Robert Patillo — are running for the newly redrawn District 53 State House of Representatives seat vacated by incumbent Elly Dobbs in the July 31 primary election. The district, which was merged with District 44, where Jones was the incumbent, includes Vinings and part of Atlanta, including part of Buckhead.

o Name, age: Jason Esteves, 28

o Occupation: associate with the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

o Education: University of Miami, bachelor’s degree in psychology, 2005; Emory University Law School, juris doctorate, 2010

o Political experience: was involved in student government at Emory and served as president of the Student Bar Association

o Family: engaged to be married to Ariel Morris in September

o Why are you the best choice? “My youth benefits me because I have a fresh perspective and high energy. … I taught for two years in Houston for Teach for Amer-ica after college. … I think a legislator who had to fight through the bureaucracy to help his children succeed and obtain achievement is best prepared for tackling the most important issue, education.”

o Top three issues: education, transportation and jobs

o Net campaign funds: $43,843.87 through June 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission

o Website:

Name, age: Sheila Jones, 56

 Occupation: employee of Lockheed Martin Corp.

 Education: studied at Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University but did not graduate

 Political experience: elected to the Georgia House of Representative in 2004 and re-elected in 2006, 2008 and 2010

 Family: Single

 Why are you the best choice? “I am the best candidate because I will continue doing the work that my opponents want to start doing. I secured funding in the budget for both counties in the District. [I was] named Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, awarded Woman Legislator of the Year by Cobb County Democratic Women, received the Joe Mack Wilson People’s Champion Award from the Cobb County Democratic Committee and received the Environmental Leadership Award (twice) from the Georgia Conservation Voters.”

o Top three issues: education, jobs and job training and transportation

o Net campaign funds: $3,274.66 through June 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website

o Website:

o Name, age: Robert Hillard Patillo II, 27

o Occupation: civil rights attorney

o Education: Clark Atlanta University, bachelor’s degree in political science, xxxx; Chicago-Kent College of Law, juris doctorate with a certification in labor and employment law, xxxx.

o Political experience: never held public office before but interned for the John Edwards presidential campaign in 2003, work as field manager for Grassroots Campaigns Inc. for the Democratic National Committee in 2004, worked as a strategist for Jesse Spikes for mayor of Atlanta in 2009 and worked as director of field operations for the Ken Hodges campaign for the Georgia attorney general in 2010.

o Family: Single

o Why are you the best choice? “I am the only can-didate that is a small business owner and has not taken one penny in this campaign from corporations. I am the only candidate who is willing to stand up to the special interest and make the decisions that I believe are best for our district. I will work across party lines to bring about the change that we need in Georgia and not rest until we bring jobs back to our community.”

o Top three issues: Jobs. “Ethics reform to cut government waste and initiatives to cut governmental red tape allowing individuals to open their own business and create jobs.”

Justice. “Reform the state’s criminal justice system is bankrupting our state. I have a plan to cut the State’s prison population by half over the next decade by focusing on alternative sentencing and educational programs for young offenders.

“The American Dream. Enact Reforms to defend the HOPE scholarship for low-income students and also protect homeowners by changing the state’s foreclosure laws to protect communities from foreclosure.”

o Net campaign funds: $0.00 through March 31, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website (he has not yet filed second-quarter campaign disclosure information, and has been fined a $125 late fee by the commission)

o Website:

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