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4 candidates battling for District 54 House seat
by Everett Catts
April 30, 2014 06:29 PM | 3102 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beth Beskin
Beth Beskin
Loretta Lepore
Loretta Lepore
John McCloskey
John McCloskey
Angelic Moore
Angelic Moore
Republicans Beth Beskin, Loretta Lepore, John McCloskey and Angelic Moore are trying to separate themselves from the pack as they vie for the District 54 State House of Representatives seat in the May 20 primary election. The winner will face Democrat Robert W. “Bob” Gibeling and possibly independent Bill Bozarth in November.

Incumbent Edward Lindsey is running for the District 11 U.S. House of Representatives seat. District 54 includes historic Brookhaven and most of Buckhead.

Beskin, a lawyer specializing in family law, estate planning and ERISA litigation, ran for the District 38 State Senate seat in 2010, losing to incumbent Democrat Horacena Tate. The following year, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Beskin as his liaison to the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education when the district was placed on accredited probation by the Southern Association Colleges and Schools. She served in that role for a year and a half. Beskin also holds leadership positions with some local organizations and has volunteered for other candidates’ campaigns in the past.

“I believe my relevant education and experience, coupled with my sincere desire to serve in this position, make me the best candidate in this race,” she said. “It has been my life goal to serve in the state Legislature. My children are now in college and graduate school, so I have the time to devote to public service.”

Lepore, owner of Lepore Associates LLC, a strategic communications firm, is running for public office for the first time but has worked behind the scenes. She served as marketing director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and as press secretary for then-Gov. Sonny Perdue. Lepore is also on the boards of several nonprofits.

“As a mother raising two boys, it’s clear to me that our future leaders have big dreams. Yet, I can see the challenges standing in their way,” she said. “As an entrepreneur and former economic developer, I understand what business leaders are thinking about when deciding to relocate or expand their business. As a communications coach, I know which skills it takes to be a strong voice and reasoned advocate for issues and ideas in which we believe.”

McCloskey, running for public office for the first time, is the only candidate who has no political experience, including campaign volunteering. Instead, he touts his business experience as a positive. McCloskey is executive vice president and general counsel for Select Management Resources, an Alpharetta-based company that has several hundred storefront consumer finance and retail furniture and electronics locations.

“While I would readily support any of my fellow Republicans in a general election should they be the nominee, I believe my background helping companies grow and create jobs separates myself from the rest of the field,” he said. “I have never before sought political office. I’m not looking to climb the political ladder or build a political resume. I’m simply trying to get some things done for the people of House District 54. I care deeply about this state and its future. I want to try and use my business background to protect that future and grow the economy.”

Moore is no stranger to politics. She is vice president of Insider Advantage, a website providing information about government and public issues for corporations and the media. Moore lost to Democrat Juanita Hicks in the 2004 Fulton County Superior Court clerk election, and has worked as a delegate and legislative/constituent liaison for the state Legislature and Fulton County. She also has volunteered for Republican political campaigns, including Newt Gingrich’s presidential run in 2012.

“Pressing issues require skilled leadership — and helping people is my passion,” Moore said. “I have the resume to be the state representative from House District 54 with the knowledge, principles, education, experience and networks to get the job done. A keen understanding of the legislative process is needed and years working at the Capitol and on legislation have given me both an understanding of the legislative process and insight. Unlike most freshmen, I am confident I can get legislation passed and/or repealed as need be. After 20 years of working in business, government and politics, I have the relationships and the resume.”

Meet the candidates

o Name, age: Beth Beskin, 54

Occupation: attorney and partner, Cohen, Cooper, Estep & Allen

o Education: bachelor’s degree in geology, Tulane University, 1981; master’s degree in geology, University of New Orleans, 1983; juris doctor degree, Louisiana State University, 1989

Family: husband Jim, two daughters: Claire, 20, and Alison, 23

o Top three issues: reducing/eliminating the Georgia personal income tax, bringing property tax relief to Atlanta’s seniors and improving educational outcomes for all of Georgia’s children.

o Campaign website:

Name, age: Loretta Lepore, 50

o Occupation: owner, Lepore Associates LLC

o Education: bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs, University of Virginia, 1985

o Family: husband Earl Casey, two sons: John, 17, and Luke, 12

o Top three issues: Growing jobs and the economy by fostering innovation and entrepreneurs, promoting education that will prepare our children for the knowledge-based and skilled jobs of the future and advancing tax reform that stimulates private investment and job creation while lowering the overall burden on individual taxpayers

o Campaign website:

o Name, age: John McCloskey, 47

o Occupation: executive vice president and general counsel, Select Management Resources

o Education: bachelor’s degree in government, University of Maryland, 1989; juris doctor degree, University of Toledo College of Law, 1993

o Family: wife Melissa, two children: Madison, 14, and Jack, 11

o Top three issues: Job creation, tax reform and education

o Campaign website:

o Name, age: Angelic Moore, 39

o Occupation: vice president, Insider Advantage

o Education: bachelor’s degree in political science/law, Georgia State University, 2003

o Family: engaged to Brent M. Bremer

o Top three issues: Shrinking the state government by reducing the state income tax and gradually replacing it with a revenue-neutral fair (sales) tax boosting economic development, reforming public education and reforming the dysfunctional Fulton County government/tax system.

o Campaign website:
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