Jasperse reflects on Tuesday's House win
by Matt Shinall
Nov 04, 2010 | 1106 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Moments after learning of his election win to retain his freshman seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, Rick Jasperse and a team of volunteers began the chore of removing yard signs.

Unable to be reached Tuesday night, Jasperse contacted The Daily Tribune News Wednesday morning, though short on sleep, to comment on the race.

"To go through the experience of the election and be successful is just very thrilling, it's very humbling. There's a lot of excitement, it's kind of like winning a big football game. You prepare for it, you prepare, you work and you do what you're suppose to do and when you win it's real exciting," Jasperse said.

Jasperse will continue to serve residents of District 12, including all of Pickens County, more than half of Gordon and one precinct in Bartow's northeastern corner encompassing the community of Pine Log. Opposing Jasperse on the Democratic ballot was Jerry Nally of Pine Log.

Jasperse and Nally first faced one another in May's special election, which Jasperse won, to claim the vacant seat left by Tom Graves, R-Ranger, who now serves in the U.S. House of Representatives in the seat vacated by now-governor-elect Nathan Deal.

Since that initial meeting, Jasperse also ran in the July primary election against Truett Moss before the general election held Tuesday. Three elections in just over five months plus campaigning prior to each left Jasperse feeling the effects and ready for a change of pace.

"It's been very tiring, because there's been no time to just relax, because you do one election then you have about two and a half months to do another one, then two and a half months to three to do another one -- and they're all important," Jasperse said. "It's serious and I know this is a very, very serious job, so I really work hard at it."

The retired county extension agent is new to the political scene but looks forward to getting his feet wet and making a difference for those in his district.

"I've got lots of questions myself on how lots of this works and I look forward to working with some of the very experienced legislators," Jasperse said. "We are very fortunate in this area -- and I'm not including myself because I've not been through the process yet -- but the guys and the ladies we have from this area are top rate. They're very good people and they're very passionate about our communities, and I feel very fortunate to work with people like that that really have a passion for this community."

With a background in agriculture, Jasperse placed farming as a high priority as well as jobs and small business. He spent six years on the board of directors for Chattahoochee Technical College and his wife teaches pre-kindergarten, so he also stressed the importance of education.

Republicans across the board did well Tuesday, far better than their Democratic counterparts. Analysts attribute much of the success to the Tea Party movement and a growing sense of conservative values, but Jasperse feels that locally, political winds have changed very little.

"I think it did affect some, but you've got to go back. This area that you and I live in, this is a conservative area anyway. We are conservative people and the rest of the nation is probably starting to wake up to the way we think," Jasperse said. "Maybe they're getting the idea about how we think because we all try to live within our means and respect property rights of people and others, and it's just the right thing."