SOCIAL CIRCLE — After nine years serving as a Georgia state representative, Doug Holt, R-Social Circle, announced he will not seek re-election.
Holt said he decided to run in 2004 to represent Newton and Morgan counties because he was intrigued by the law-making process.
“I’ve always been fascinated with policy-making and I’m kind of a history buff so I thought it would be a great opportunity,” Holt said. “I hope that I’ve been successful responding to the needs locally and kept people well informed of the significant bills as well as how I voted and why.”
Over his four terms, Holt worked closely with his constituents in a variety of ways.
Holt noted that he was proud to be part of a smooth redistricting process that was passed with the support of local commissioners and school boards two years ago.
But not all policy-making decisions went as smoothly during Holt’s years of service as a state representative.
He spent several years working on a bill that was spurred by the annexation of 322 acres in Newton County into the city limits of Social Circle. The property’s owner, Donnie Clack, annexed his land into the city limits, requesting to rezone the property from agricultural use to general commercial with special conditions for the purposes of constructing a motorsports complex, including a drag strip.
The annexation was ultimately declared null and void based on a technicality. However, Holt’s legislation, which requires local governments to submit disputed annexation requests to binding arbitration before an independent panel, was designed to create a balance between governments in annexation disputes.
“It was a difficult subject locally, but the bill did pass making it a more equitable process,” Holt said.
Newton County Commissioner John Douglas said he hopes to see the next representative stay true to the counties’ values like Holt did.
“I think he established himself as a strong conservative voice and did a great job,” Douglas said. “He did a number of things to help Newton and Morgan counties and he had a track record of being true to his and our values. We appreciate that and we hope to see that in our next representative.”
Holt will serve one last year as the legislative session begins in January.
He plans to turn his focus on his private life, spending more time with his wife, Julie, and son, Ray, while returning to his IT consulting firm, Newton Computing Corporation, which he’s operated since 1996. The company focuses on business applications programming and database support.