2018 is a big election year for the state of Georgia. But if you are anything like me, you are usually too busy to pay as much attention to local politics as you should. So, to make things easier, I have started a series to pick apart each candidate’s pros and cons.
With introductions out of the way, meet Democrat RJ Hadley.
Hadley is the first candidate I have seen so far whose campaign website is his Facebook page. On this page, he says nothing about his childhood except that he is a graduate of Dartmouth College, attended the University of Tennessee Law School, has a degree in Computer Science from Richard Stockton College of NJ, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with Troy University, and has lived in Rockdale, Georgia, with his wife and children since 2006.
But before he moved to Georgia, after he graduated Dartmouth College, Hadley worked in the Atlantic County, NJ Family Court as a Juvenile Social Worker. He also volunteered as Knoxville Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA for short, while attending the University of Tennessee Law School.
As far as business goes, Hadley has almost 30 years of management and technology experience. He has worked as a software engineer and a project manager with the Federal Aviation Administration, Motorola, and Logica. While Hadley was at Logica, he managed an engineering staff in London, England, and in multiple US cities.
In addition, Hadley has “a desire to improve the lives of others and a heart for service.” Since moving to Rockdale, he has worked to develop senior housing with the non-profit Affordable Housing CDC and served as a youth mentor with the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H.
Politically, Hadley has been active as a Georgia Democrat for over ten years. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, 2008 Obama Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and in various leadership roles with the Rockdale County Democratic Party.
In 2012, Hadley was elected as Rockdale Tax Commissioner. In 2014 and 2015, the National Association of Counties, aka NACo, recognized him for his work as tax commissioner, specifically for innovation and communication in local government.
Furthermore, Hadley was the first Tax Commissioner to be honored by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) with the 2014 Civic and Community Engagement Advocate of the Year Award for his outreach programs.
That same year, he was nominated to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, where he and 55 other private, public, and non-profit leaders studied the major challenges and opportunities facing the Atlanta Metro region.
In 2015, Hadley was a named a finalist for Tax Commissioner of the Year by the GA Association of Tax Officials (GATO). He ran for Chairman of Rockdale County in 2016, but he lost the race and continues to serve as Rockdale’s Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner.
If he is elected to be Georgia’s Secretary of State, Hadley spells out his promises in the About Me section of the About page of his Facebook page.
He says, “As your Georgia Secretary of State I will fight for secure, paper-verifiable elections to give voters more choice; not less. I value Georgia’s private voter data, and vow to protect your information. As an award-winning administrator, I will cut non-profit and corporate registration time in half.”
If Hadley sounds like the Secretary of State you want for the state of Georgia, the elections will be held on November 6.