Six-term incumbent Rep. Howard Maxwell, R-Dallas, will face David Bond of Dallas for the Republican nomination for the District 17 seat in the May 20 primary. The winner will be unopposed in the November general election.
Maxwell, an insurance agent, said he hoped, when voters cast their ballots, they know he is a strong supporter of conservative values” in such areas as gun rights and limited spending.
He noted he has resided in Paulding for 56 years, is a Vietnam War veteran and served on the Paulding school board for 14 years before his election to the legislature.
“My wife and I raised our kids here,” Maxwell said. “I’m a community guy.” Bond, who works in medical and health marketing, said he hoped voters thought of someone who was fighting for their right for local officials to respond to their needs.
“I’m going to try to determine what’s best for the residents of District 17 rather than going behind their backs,” he said, in reference to county officials’ alleged secrecy in efforts to develop Silver Comet Field airport.
Bond is at a disadvantage financially. According to a financial disclosure filed with a state agency, Bond had raised $20 and spent $2,579 for a negative net balance on March 31. Maxwell had $110,324 on hand, after raising $1,200 in the first quarter of 2014 and spending $5,836 during the same period.
The challenger, who is married and has a daughter, said he wants to push for more testing of how the Common Core performance standards would affect Georgia students.
He said the Food and Drug Administration tests potential new drugs for 10 years before their introduction and believes roughly the same amount of time could be put into testing standards that will affect children’s educational careers.
Maxwell said he supported economic development of the county and wanted to help find a way to create more jobs within Paulding to help support its expected growth to almost half a million residents in 50 years.
He said he had no personal interest in Silver Comet Field airport, but added, “I think we have an opportunity” to use the Rockmart Highway facility to recruit aerospace-related industries, including maintenance, repair and overhaul companies, to the county.
Maxwell pointed to the impact Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., operating adjacent to the Savannah Airport, had on south Georgia’s economic health as an example of what also could benefit Paulding.
Bond said 800 Delta Airlines employees reside in Paulding but Maxwell supported a bill to remove Delta’s sales tax exemption on jet fuel.
“[Delta is] one of the money engines for the state of Georgia,” Bond said.
Bond said Maxwell also planned to submit legislation – which ultimately was not filed this year – to change the Industrial Development Board’s powers despite a pending lawsuit challenging those powers. Maxwell said he planned to do what any other legislator would if requested by his county’s governing body, but the Paulding County Commission did not ask him to file the legislation.