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Posted: April 26, 2014 10:00 p.m.

CANDIDATE PROFILE: Sonya Hunte

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Sonya Hunte is contesting Newton County’s longest serving commissioner, incumbent J.C. Henderson, for the District 4 Board of Commissioners seat on the Democratic side of the 2014 election.

Following is information taken from Hunte’s replies to a questionnaire The News requires every county candidate vying for office to fill out before writing an election profile.

Platform
Hunte, 36, wants to engage the community in the local governing process. Her goal for Newton County is to have children grow up with the opportunity to remain in the community with a well-paying job.

“Primarily, my work will focus on infrastructure, transportation, public safety, economic development and the creation of a youth commission. This form of visionary yet practical leadership will positively impact the county today and in the future,” Hunte wrote in her questionnaire.

If elected, she said she would focus on policies and plans for improved infrastructure, economic development and public safety, which she said directly impact the employment opportunities and ultimately the quality of life for Newton’s residents.

Her platform also mentioned the development of a youth commission comprised of 10-20 eighth through 11th graders who have shown interest in public service and elected office. This commission would keep the county Board of Commissioners informed of issues facing youth in the area and foster county pride and volunteer investment among the youth.

Professional experience
Hunte is a social worker and has been the homeless liaison for Atlanta Public Schools for the past four years. She is a McKinney-Vento Act compliance officer, a grant writer, a budget administrator and a program monitor who engages all stakeholders through the provision of technical assistance. Hunte makes sure students facing homelessness receive social service and educational support to help them succeed in school and life.

Hunte has practiced social work in child welfare and juvenile justice settings prior to entering the education realm. She worked as a direct practitioner and supervisor during her tenure with the Department of Family and Children’s Services from 2001-2007. Until 2010, she managed a new social service department with Fulton County Office of the Child Attorney.

Education
Hunte, who was born in Brooklyn and moved to Newton County in 2001, graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1995 with a major in environmental science before earning a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Pennsylvania State University in 1999. She received a master’s degree in social work from Boston College in 2001.

Community involvement
Hunte has been involved in a number of civic and non-profit organizations, including the local chaprter of the National Council of negro Women and the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, where she serves as chair elect. Her community involvement was recognized in the 2013 40 Under 40 citation for Georgia Trend Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

When asked of her personal records in the questionnaire, Hunte said she has never been arrested or sued. She owns one property and a business and has never filed for bankruptcy.

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