Laughridge announces state Senate campaign
by Jason Lowrey
Sep 11, 2013 | 2646 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Matt Laughridge, third from left, surrounded by supporters and family, announces his candidacy for state Senate District 14 in downtown Cartersville Tuesday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Matt Laughridge, third from left, surrounded by supporters and family, announces his candidacy for state Senate District 14 in downtown Cartersville Tuesday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Matt Laughridge, vice president of Terry Reid Kia, has thrown his hat into the state Senate District 14 ring.

Laughridge joins Bruce Thompson and Dwight Pullen in the race for Barry Loudermilk’s former seat. He made two announcements Tuesday, the first in front of the Cherokee County old courthouse and an afternoon announcement in downtown Cartersville in front of Ross’ Diner.

Alan Brown, father of Joshua Brown and a writer of Joshua’s Law, a bill designed to increase funding for driver’s education, introduced Laughridge and praised him for his commitment to civic service.

“We need a person of very strong moral character, high integrity and, just as important as that, a strong will to stand up and do what’s right. There is one such man among us. ... In fact, I claim him as one of my other boys,” said Brown.

Brown continued, highlighting Laughridge’s education and business experience. He also cited Laughridge having the opportunity to work for a Wall Street firm, but declining the offer and staying in Cartersville.

Laughridge said his campaign was based on the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“People have often asked me why did I jump into that special election. Well, I’m going to tell you why I’m running,” Laughridge said. “I’m running for a good friend of mine, Charlie [Lowry] who is a Vietnam fighter pilot, and he has values that need to be protected. I’m running for my friends in the education field ... to give them the freedom so they can protect the education of our young kids. I’m also running for every small businessman and woman, such as Hal here at Ross’ Diner ... for their livelihood from unnecessary regulation.”

Education, and its related budget, were also prominent topics Laughridge addressed.

“As your next senator, I’ll be on the forefront of the discussions for education as budget and educational quality. I don’t make campaign promises that I cannot keep, but I can promise you this: I will work harder and more diligently than anybody. I have the time, I have the enthusiasm and I have the desire to get the job done,” he said.

After his speech, Laughridge was surrounded with family, friends and coworkers who are supporting his campaign. Calling their support phenomenal, he looked forward to raising funds, giving speeches and promoting his campaign.

If elected, Laughridge said he would place transparency and open communication among his top priorities.

“I do know when taxes are written, the information for the taxes or the government regulation burdens [are] not clearly communicated. So whether it’s a good law or bad law — to whoever’s opinion — it just needs to be clearly communicated so that everybody is on the same page throughout the whole thing,” he said.

Laughridge’s campaign is the latest expression of his interest in public service. Prior to his decision to run for state Senate, he had traveled to Washington D.C. with the Georgia Automobile Dealer Association and National Automobile Dealer Association to speak with lawmakers and gain support toward what he called a “sound business platform.”

“I think the community involvement that I’ve been doing for my whole life has really made it to where it has always been around, and the level of interest grew as more people got me introduced to other things,” he said. “Not just philanthropic, but boards and other decision-making parts of the community.”