Holt to seek re-election

COVINGTON - State Rep. Doug Holt, R-Social Circle, has announced he is running for a third term representing the state's 112th District, which includes portions of Newton and Morgan counties.

"I still remain focused on assisting the area with the rapid growth we're experiencing," Holt said. "It has slowed down a bit, of course, but there's still need for keeping the school system up to speed with the number of new students and providing local government with the resources necessary to deal with transportation challenges and that sort of thing."

Holt said he plans to continue with the platform he set when he first ran for office - assisting local governments with promoting quality growth.

In 2007, Holt saw passage of the Fair Annexation Act, a bill he had worked on for two years.

The act creates a system that subjects opposed annexations to binding arbitration.

Now, Holt has his sights set on the interpretation of property-rezoning law in the courts, a problem he said has resulted in rezoning denials "being unreasonably overturned."

Holt wants to establish as law the presumption that county zoning decisions are valid and should be given judicial deference. He also wants to codify a two-part test for reviewing local zoning decisions, emphasizing the irrelevance of the higher value of property after rezoning.

"It sort of falls back to the same issues that swirled around for the annexation bill. I'm a strong believer in property rights, but for everybody, not just for folks who can afford a high-powered lawyer to get their way," Holt said. "When you have a situation where rezoning is forced through against a county or city's wishes and violates the land use plan, what about the property rights of the people who live in the vicinity of that rezoning? That's what I'm out to protect."

Holt, 44, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Newton County in 1995.

Holt has a bachelor of science degree in economics from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.

He is the founder and president of Newton Computing Corporation, a software and consulting firm.

Holt is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Covington, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, Smart Growth Newton County and Newton County Arts Association.

He and his wife, Julie, a media specialist at West Newton Elementary School, have one son, Ray.

"I'm very grateful to the many kind, hardworking folks who deserve the credit for making this campaign successful so far and who have continued to offer their deeply appreciated support," Holt said.

The 2008 primary is July 15. The General Election is Nov. 4.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.