Nesmith paid taxes, looks to ‘substantial debate’ on issues
by Jason Lowrey
Oct 01, 2013 | 932 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Christopher Nesmith, one of the three candidates to have challenges filed against him after qualifying for the State Senate District 14 special election, has paid the $1,243.54 he owed in 2012 taxes. According to the Bartow County Tax Commissioner’s website, the taxes were paid Monday, Sept. 23.

Nesmith, the only Democrat running to replace former Sen. Barry Loudermilk, said the taxes were overdue thanks to a period of unemployment.

“Again, when you’re usually getting over from a spell of unemployment, you fall behind, things get real tight and you just start calculating, ‘OK, what do I got to do to make it to this point? And what’s going to do the least damage? And how we’re going to get it done.’ That’s just the kind of way that worked,” Nesmith said.

He continued, saying the financial struggles he went through during his unemployment were a factor in his desire to run for state office.

“We’re getting back on our feet. I think those type of struggles are sort of what compelled me to finally say, you know, if no other Democrat will step into the race, I will. We certainly looked and felt there was no reason for it to go unchallenged. It might not be the best prospect in this part of the state — it’s pretty red up here,” he said.

Nesmith, who is an Adairsville resident, said he grew up in this area and so his point of view is similar to his neighbors, friends and family. He believes the Legislature spends too much time considering smaller issues rather than those that have a larger, more lasting impact.

“I think we tend to get crossed up over what is usually ephemera. It’s small details and it really don’t contribute to the overall function of the country as far as government goes, as far as the state goes, too,” he said. “We fight little battles and duck the bigger issues. I’d like to see us go back to having substantial debates about what are we going to do to solve these types of problems: infrastructure and so forth, roads and bridges, you know, rail, things like that. We’re not having a good discussion. ... That’s what I’d like to see instead of the same old arguments we’ve been having for the last 20 years.”

Nesmith recognized the challenges of running as Democrat in an area where most voters are registered as an independent or as a Republican. He hopes to draw support from some independents in addition to Democrats, and plans to raise issues before the public he believes other candidates will not address.

“You know, have them ask the public instead of four carbon copies running for [a] state Senate seat saying the same thing. Let’s get something else said about it. I’ll be more than happy to be that person,” he said.

In addition to infrastructure, Nesmith said he plans to address how Georgia can improve its education and move up the national rankings.

“How are we going to make sure those small counties in the rural parts of our state are not falling too far behind in terms of having access to resources and those kids getting a chance to compete and getting those opportunities? These are real questions that are going to determine the way we go the next several generations. We need to be talking about this stuff instead of these heated debates about hot-button issues. It’s easy to get caught up in that,” he said.

Now that he is employed with Sunshine Community, where he works with the developmentally disabled, Nesmith said he is spending more time with his family. By running as the only opposition across the aisle from the other candidates, he said he wants to at least promote getting involved with government.

“Hopefully, you know, it may not be a very big splash, but any little splash is something. Any citizen should be active and this is the way to promote it,” Nesmith said.