Up to this point, the campaign for the new Senate District 52 seat has focused on the candidates’ personal qualifications and on issues that are meaningful to the voters, such as TSPLOST and the 411 connector. One thing that hasn’t been discussed is what the new Senator will be faced with in Atlanta: advancing the best interests of this district in an unstable atmosphere of party politics.
We would be naïve to picture the new Senate seat as a clean slate. Those who currently hold seats at the Gold Dome have already weighed in on what kind of support they want in Northwest Georgia and which candidate is likely to provide that. There are foxholes and entrenched positions, preparing for the conclusion of a power struggle which was teed up in the 2012 general assembly. My question is: how does this serve the people of this District and the State of Georgia?
My battlefield experience has provided me the insight to recognize what is going on in the Senate. I am the only candidate for this seat who put on a uniform and effectively defended the Constitution by putting myself in harm’s way. In service to my country, I have been under enemy fire more times than I care to recount. I was responsible for decisions that meant the difference between life and death, and my success was that I brought all my men home.
As your state Senator for District 52, I will provide the experience from combat under fire: they cannot change my direction unless they’re shooting at me. It’s said that every day past your last firefight is a gift. You treat it as a gift and do everything you possibly can to enjoy it, to share with others, and to serve others. This battle in the Senate doesn’t help the citizens – it’s time to outflank the negative positions and get to work using innovative approaches to help our state move forward. And I have the experience to do just that.
Instead of disappearing into entrenched enemy positions, this district’s Senator needs to be a leader who can recognize the priorities worth achieving, analyze the complexity of competing interests, make the tough decisions to most efficiently utilize existing resources and employ innovation to generate new ones, and to effectively communicate these insights with other elected officials and with the constituents. This is my field of vision, and my insight for knowing where the battles are, which ones are worth fighting, and how to lead.
From working for worldwide consulting firms, I have experience in strategy development for public and also private sector Fortune 100 businesses, finding cost reductions and operating efficiencies, and working with multi-million dollar state budgets and preparing presentations to their general assemblies. And from owning my own business, I know first-hand how government decisions impact jobs, homes and the community, and greatly affect the condition of the business environment and our ability to generate our own recovery.
My experiences will support my service as the Senator for District 52 by giving me insight for recognizing good ideas and how to effectively bring them forward. We need to change the focus and scope of government, and use the positive examples from across the country that will make a difference for Georgia – such as properly deploying the sunset bill and zero-based budgeting. Have we forgotten how to cut, or are more concerned about party control than actually cutting? And we need to end divisiveness – between the parties and between the counties – and instead commit to making these tough decisions together.
There are those who would argue that the old alliances are necessary to get anything done in the partisan status quo in Atlanta. I look forward to the opportunity to prove otherwise. An opportunity to not only reduce the scope of government but to broaden our horizons and look outside of government to innovative solutions, for how we can re-direct our energy to achieving more. I have experience that ranges from combat zones to conference tables to small business programs and I am proud to say that in combat I did not run. I will not run from this fight, either. We can’t afford to squander time or tax revenues on trench warfare, and we can’t lose sight of who we are doing this for. We the People – whom I have long served and for whom I look forward to this new mission – to bring success home to District 52.