Battles, Benham face off for District 15 seat
by Matt Shinall
Nov 04, 2012 | 1437 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While thousands of Bartow County voters already have turned out in early voting, more will go to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballot for president of the United States of America along with several local races.

Among the locally contested fields is Georgia House of Representatives District 15. Covering the southeastern corner of Bartow County, including much of Cartersville and all of Emerson, House District 15 currently is represented by Republican incumbent Paul Battles who took office four years ago following the 2008 election. He is challenged by Democratic opposition Lelia Benham.

To obtain a sample ballot and for information on where to vote on election day, visit or contact the Bartow County Board of Elections Office, 105 N. Bartow St., at 770-387-5098.

The following is a brief Q&A from the candidates running for State House of Representatives District 15.

Name: Paul R. Battles

Occupation: Minister/Retired Banker

Education: Cartersville High School, Southern Tech, Shorter College

Family: Wife Marijon, two daughters and six grandchildren

City of Residence: Cartersville

Age: 65


Why are you running for re-election?

A. To serve the people of Bartow County and the state of Georgia.

If re-elected, what do you wish to accomplish?

A. To expand the educational opportunities through Georgia Highland College, Chattahoochee Tech and the Bartow County College and Career Academy.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your district?

A. Manufacturing jobs for Bartow County and Transportation Project Funding.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate for this position?

A. For the past four years I have established a working relation with key leadership in the House, Senate and governor’s office. I will be able to use these assets to accomplish the goals that I have mentioned.

Name: Lelia Benham

Occupation: Retired small business woman, MBE/health care specialist

Education: Business Management major, Mansfield/Bliss Business College/North Central State College, Associate Degrees received/earned

Family: Three children; two daughters; one son; six grandchildren, five girls, one boy; seven brothers, one now deceased; mother and father deceased

City of Residence: Cartersville born and raised, lived in Mansfield, Ohio, many years back in Bartow 11 years

Age: Birthday recently, 67 years young


Why are you running?

A. I’m running for state Representative because I saw a need for a better Georgia for the citizens.

If elected, what do you wish to accomplish?

A. I wish to accomplish more students graduating high school and becoming successful. Also to lessen our transportation woes, in north Georgia especially.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing your district?

A. Overall, to help keep Georgia in step with the rest of the nation and world. Our biggest issue at this point here in Georgia is lack of management Georgia has the infrastructure we need more and better priorities worked on and set for sure.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate for this position?

A. I’m a better candidate because I have new eyes on Georgia’s situational delays or lack of cohesiveness internally and can launch and bring to the forefront current issues being left behind and untouched in some areas.