Republicans square off for state Senate District 52
by Marie Nesmith
Jun 09, 2012 | 1830 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Hayden Collins
In the July 31 primary election, Republicans Hayden Collins, David Doss and Chuck Hufstetler will vie for the state Senate District 52 seat, which covers Floyd County and portions of Bartow, Chattooga and Gordon counties. The seat's incumbent, State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, will run unopposed in the newly created District 14.

Name: Hayden T. Collins

Occupation: Resource Efficiency Manager, U.S. Marine Corps Base, Albany

City of Residence: Cartersville

Family: Married (20 years) to Sandra Collins, with several adopted children and over 100 children fostered

Education: I attended college on nights and on weekends while working full time, serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and raising a family. I started my college career at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac, Mich., and earned my first degree, an Associate of Arts while in a combat zone. My wife, Sandra, had to accept my degree because I was unable to get leave to attend my graduation. I went on to enroll in Reinhardt College in Waleska, Ga., again attending classes at nights and on the weekend to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Reinhardt College. Then I enrolled at Shorter College in Rome, Ga., and earned my Master of Science Degree in Arts and Leadership. As a "life-long learner," I am dedicated to my own education and I encourage those around me to do the same. I believe that leaders in our communities should lead by example, and that education is the key to success in life.

Age: 47

Website: www.haydencollins.org

Q: Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: I have seen the challenges that northwest Georgia faces, and I see tremendous opportunities to move beyond them, with strong, focused, conservative leadership. This is a new district with no incumbent in it. I see a need and I can fill that need. I have the experience -- from combat zones to conference tables -- that we need to break through indecisiveness and make tough decisions, to find new solutions, and to consistently pursue success for District 52. As a candidate for state senator I bring an openness to new approaches to achieve our goals, the vision and business experience to see them succeed, and the leadership to make the tough decisions to get there.

Q: If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: My strategy for success in northwest Georgia employs the three E's: Economics, Energy and Education. Northwest Georgia needs to show it is the environment for success and get the word out there. That takes business experience -- successful business experience. I am a leader who understands how it works, how to build capacity through partnerships and business networks, and the value of timely decisions; I have the experience of successfully utilizing organization and communication for large-scale operations. I will choose the most efficient way to get things done for Senate District 52 and for the state of Georgia, and ways that make sure we spend our money right, and on the smartest solution that is going to do the job. Setting this kind of responsible example with our money -- both public tax dollars and the investment through family businesses and private individuals -- promotes our conservative values and promotes a successful environment in northwest Georgia.

With strong Conservative leadership deploying the 3 E's, coordination and communication, northwest Georgia can look forward to:

* Success in business: I have worked with Fortune 100 companies, bringing together businesses from several countries that did not speak the same language, identifying a common goal, and leading the team to achieve it -- despite language and social barriers on a worldwide scale -- and become successful. I will lead northwest Georgia to find and implement the strategies, partnerships and economic opportunities that will benefit us now and position us to attract new business and be ready for growth.

* Success in education: Education is key to our success -- as individuals and as a community. I am a lifelong learner and recognize the success that innovation can provide, whether in utilizing online education as a cost-effective alternative to brick-and-mortar facilities in my Vision Bridge School concept, to community service that puts students at the head of the line for scholarships, to community college and online training options that enable everyone who wants to work to be able to achieve the necessary skills, to opportunities for internships that will give kids the experience and self-confidence to achieve their own goals.

* Success as a community: Economic challenges affect us all and we feel it at our kitchen tables.

I have run my own business and I know the dedication it takes. I suffer along with the working man because I am the working man. I fill up my gas tank and drive back and forth to work, I pay the same prices with the same struggles as everyone else in this district. We can build a better future for ourselves and for our children. I believe that there are workable solutions that can enhance northwest Georgia even in hard economic times. We must work together to connect our resources and abilities with the best possible options for investment, for business growth and for community enhancement. Our efforts to increase the opportunities here will benefit not only our community but the region as a whole.

Q: What is the most pressing issue facing District 52?

A: Our primary concern is the stagnant economy and how to improve the situation in northwest Georgia -- no matter what is going on in the rest of the country. If the economy takes off right now, are we ready for it? We have to recognize how to prepare for the next move and take advantage of whatever presents itself. Issues such as transportation are seen as problems but in fact they are pointing to a greater need: that of addressing a previous lack of coordination, timely decision-making and effective leadership that supports conservative values. But money alone is not the answer -- when a large business wants to expand or diversify they are looking to take a good risk with their money. They are looking for an environment where their investment is going to pay off.

Q: Once in office, what will your top priority be?

A: Providing the leadership to enable businesses to create jobs in northwest Georgia -- by strengthening the local business community through removing obstacles and disincentives for new start-ups and the upgrading of current businesses, building capacity through partnerships and business networks, offering energy incentives for business investment and attracting new employers here; showing the world that northwest Georgia has the facilities, resources, and excitement to get it done; and making sure we spend our money right and on the smartest solution that is going to do the job. This also means moving forward to find cost-saving and innovative ways to provide education, both for our children's future and to equip a skilled workforce that can support their families and help attract employers. These priorities will benefit not only northwest Georgia but through leadership in the Senate they will contribute to setting an example statewide.

Q: Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I present myself to the voters as their strongest choice for a leader for Senate District 52, and for representing its interests in Atlanta. I am a leader and a fighter. I have set the example, on the military side and on the civilian side, as a warrior and as a servant -- from our foster adoptive home, our Boy Scout unit, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, Georgia Youth Challenge and specialized work supporting our veterans through ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve), personally organizing job fairs for returning veterans, holiday toy drives for the families of service, active and National Guard members as well as serving as the chairman of pastoral relations at my church. I live out my conservative values by actively practicing them in my position within the structure of the U.S. Marine Corps base. It will take a combination of proven leadership and strong business experience with a commitment to helping neighbors and building up the community. They have to move forward together to give northwest Georgia the leg-up it needs for business success, for turning around its own economic bottom line and for building up our community, our families and the traditions that we will want to pass on to our children. This is the Heart of a Servant and the Spirit of a Warrior. I will set an example in Atlanta from my unmatchable combination of proven leadership on the military side, business side and the home front, with a proven commitment to my community, state and country.

Name: David Doss

Occupation: President, Harvey-Given Co. (real estate and property management)

City of Residence: Rome

Family: Married for 28 years to my wife, Janice, and we have four children

Education: Graduate, University of Georgia in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Website: www.dossforsenate.com



Q: Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: Like most Georgians, I am deeply concerned about the direction that our nation and our state is heading. For too long, the critical needs of our state have been ignored, often while frivolous issues seem to dominate the legislative agenda. Whether it's a lack of thoughtful conservative solutions or a lack of political courage, Georgia cannot continue to ignore the critical issues facing our state. I have a deep sense of public service, a tremendous love for our great state and a passion for conservative public policy. My experience on both the local and state level makes me uniquely qualified to be the next Senator from the 52nd District.

Q: If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: First and foremost I want to restore public trust in state government by sponsoring and passing stronger ethics laws for Georgia. Currently, our state is one of only three that allows unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators and I pledge to live by the proposed new law even if we fail to get it enacted by the Legislature. Also, I want to stop the funding cuts that have undermined our public education system by shortening the school year and furloughing our teachers. Finally, securing our water future and finding a way to adequately fund our state's transportation needs are critical issues that we must solve now.



Q: What is the most pressing issue facing District 52?

A: Jobs and transportation are the two biggest issues facing the 52nd district. I believe the single biggest step to creating new jobs is to reform our state's antiquated tax code. Our tax code has not had a comprehensive revision since 1939 and is full of special interest tax breaks bought and paid for by the same lobbyists who will oppose me on ethics reform. As for transportation, Georgia ranks 49th out of 50 states for per capita spending on transportation. We must find a way to adequately fund transportation in our state. Our state is already losing our competitive edge because of our lagging transportation infrastructure.



Q: Once in office, what will your top priority be?

A: Creating jobs; revising our antiquated state tax code; restoring the public trust by passing meaningful ethics reform; restoring adequate funding to our public education system; and finding a fair and equitable way to fund transportation in Georgia.



Q: Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: I have been chairman of the Floyd County Commission and I have been chairman of the State Transportation Board of Georgia. My experience on both the local and state levels, my long history as a fiscal conservative and my passion for public service make me uniquely qualified to serve the 52nd district in the state Senate.

Name: Chuck Hufstetler

Occupation: Small business owner, anesthesia provider at Redmond Hospital, former Floyd County Commissioner

City of residence: Rome

Family: Wife, Joan, married 30 years; three children, Caleb currently working on his MBA at Berry College, Schell a doctoral student in Psychology at Georgia State,P and Rebeckah an eighth grade student at Rome Middle School

Education: Bachelor of Science with a double major in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia, Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiology from the Emory School of Medicine

Age: 55

Website: www.chuckhufstetler.com



Q: Why did you decide to run for this particular race?

A: Northwest Georgia needs a strong, conservative voice in the Senate who can help get our economy moving again. I have a proven track record of cutting taxes, trimming waste and eliminating debt while on the Floyd County Commission. As a small business owner and medical professional, I understand that it is free market ideas that will get us back on track to bring good jobs to our area.



Q: If elected, what do you want to accomplish?

A: To be known as a Senator who adheres to the Constitution, frees the private sector to create more jobs, reduces the size of government by cutting taxes and eliminating waste, stands firm for innocent life from conception to natural death, returns education decisions to the teachers and parents, and defends the Second Amendment.



Q: What is the most pressing issue facing District 52?

A: Creating good jobs for our hardworking citizens. When I was a Floyd County Commissioner, I cut taxes six times and eliminated our county's debt. The result was over half-a-billion dollars in new and existing industry in my first term alone. I'll take that proven leadership to the Senate and get to work for the people of Georgia.



Q: Once in office, what will your top priority be?

A: Reading every piece of legislation before voting on it, and then judging if the legislation adheres to the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Constitution and my promises to the people of the 52nd.



Q: Why are you the best candidate for the position?

A: As a life-long Republican and consistent conservative, I have a proven record of leadership. That is why I have the support of Preston Smith and Barry Loudermilk, former senators from the 52nd. Visit my website at www.ChuckHufstetler.com to see the record and my ideas for northwest Georgia.