Jeff Amason, an attorney from Woodstock, and a former chairman of the Cobb County Libertarian Party, was nominated by the party Saturday, according to a Tuesday news release from the Libertarian Party of Georgia.
Amason, 48, said he has been campaigning since last year and has started the long process of trying to get on the ballot for the general election this November to oppose 38-year-old Turner. Turner is running unopposed for the Republican nomination in the May primary. No Democrats qualified to run.
To get on the ticket, Amason must get the signatures of 5 percent of the residents who were eligible to vote in the 2012 election, as any third-party or independent candidate must do, according to the Janet Munda, Cherokee County elections supervisor.
It’s not an easy task, Amason said, but he’s resolved to do it.
“People we meet are wanting to see some choice in November,” he said Tuesday. “The issue is you really have to go door to door. It is a struggle. It is a great struggle, but we’re up to the challenge.”
Munda said the deadline for those signatures to be turned into the state is July 8, and local elections workers will verify their validity. Before that, Amason, or any other independent or third-party candidates, must qualify to run between June 23 and 27.
Besides working to get on the ballot, Amason will also have to contend with Turner.
“I have proven that a legislator can be principled, transparent and ethical while being effective,” Turner said Tuesday. “I have kept my promise to never accept a gift or a campaign contribution from a lobbyist. And in the short time I have served under the Gold Dome, I have proven I am willing to fight the big fights and effectively guide legislation like HB 707 out of the House.”
House Bill 707, which Turner worked on with other lawmakers, seeks to bar state resources from being used to implement the Affordable Care Act. Turner also mentioned House Bill 886, which is aimed at bringing transparency to the school funding process in Georgia, and HB 826, which eliminates zero-tolerance policies in schools. All three bills are up for consideration in the Senate, after passing the House.
“I have clearly been part of major legislation that represents what I heard from the people when I introduced myself during the last campaign,” said Turner, who took office in 2013, after Sean Jerguson resigned the seat for his unsuccessful bid for the state Senate District 21 seat previously held by Chip Rogers.
Amason, who also ran for House District 38 in 1996, said he’s going after the seat so voters can have a Libertarian choice and also to help fight “federal overreaching.”
“Most importantly, I’m running on a platform of liberty for all, which is a very basic concept, but, frankly, both of the parties struggle with,” he added, referring to the Republican and Democratic parties.
Turner has also spoken of limiting the federal government’s influence on Georgians’ lives, such as with the anti-Affordable Care Act.
Amason said if he is elected, he also hoped to address the state’s ballot access laws, which he called some of the most-restrictive in the country.