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Douglas to run for re-election

COVINGTON - State Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle, has announced he is seeking a third term representing District 17.

"My re-election in this district, which includes Newton and parts of Henry, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties, will maintain the steady leadership I have provided in Atlanta over the past four years in the Senate and two previous years in the House," Douglas said in a prepared statement.

During his time in the Legislature, Douglas said he has focused on giving recognition and benefits to veterans and military members; providing equipment, technology and support to public safety departments; and promoting free enterprise and protecting businesses throughout the state.

Douglas has also authored several bills on immigration, the most recent of which allows judges and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider immigration status when setting bail or parole.

If re-elected, Douglas said he has seven key goals.

The first is to "maintain my record of absolute honesty and integrity," he said. "When I say something, you can depend on it being the truth. I have never engaged in deception, waffling or cover-ups. My motto of "lead by example' remains the guiding principle in my public career and life."

Second, Douglas pledged to help find answers to the transportation problems plaguing the state, putting the Salem Road corridor at the top of his list.

Third, Douglas said he will continue to advocate the elimination of state income tax in favor of higher sales tax.

Douglas said he's also committed to keeping pressure on illegal immigrants to move out of Georgia, working to provide tax incentives and financial assistance to local governments striving to maintain water resources and providing more local control of education.

Douglas' final goal is "remaining readily accessible to every citizen of the 17th district and quickly responding to mail, calls and visits."

Douglas, 54, was born in Albany. He graduated from DeKalb County's Shamrock High School in 1972.

Douglas moved to Newton County in 1996 and began his political career as a member of the Newton County Board of Education, where he served from 1998 to 2002.

He served one term in the Georgia House of Representatives before he was elected to the Senate in 2004.

Douglas is a retired U.S. Army officer and has a bachelor's degree in political science from North Georgia College and State University and a master's degree in contemporary American society from Mercer University.

In 2006 and 2007, Douglas was named Legislator of the Year three times, by the Georgia Association of Emergency Services, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and The National Guard Association of the United States.

Douglas and his wife, Susan, have one daughter, Katherine.

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