Release Date: October 30, 2006
Subject: AACOC PAC Endorses Candidates for Commission, Mayor, GA House & Senate
One of the missions of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (AACOC PAC) is to encourage and support candidates who understand the importance of business to the local community. Prior to making endorsements, the PAC requested that local candidates for Commission and Mayor provide written answers to questions submitted by Chamber members. The questions and candidates’ answers can be found on the PAC’s web site: www.AthensBusiness.Com. The PAC also sponsored forums and debates for candidates. After careful consideration, the AACOC PAC endorses the following candidates in the upcoming election.
Commission District 1: The AACOC PAC endorses James Garland. This was a difficult decision for the PAC because both candidates are supportive of our concerns. However, we recommend that our members support Mr. Garland. In his answers to the PAC’s questions, Mr. Garland displays a strong belief in private property rights and the value of businesses to the community. Over the past several years Mr. Garland has been a strong advocate for the free-enterprise system and less government. The PAC believes that Mr. Garland will be an uncompromised voice for business, lower taxes, and prioritized spending on issues such as roads, sewer service, and water lines.
Commission District 2: The AACOC PAC endorses Alvin Sheats. Mr. Sheats has years of community involvement, serving previously as a Commissioner, the Executive Director of the Hancock Development Center, and as a soldier in the Army National Guard. Mr. Sheats’ service in the Hancock Development Center provides him with first-hand experience in understanding the needs of economic development and workforce development initiatives. Mr. Sheats thoroughly understands that Government working with education and business can make a difference in economic development for our community. The PAC believes that Mr. Sheats will bring that experience and advocacy to the Commission.
Mayor: The AACOC PAC endorses Charlie Maddox. The business community is pleased that Mr. Charlie Maddox and Mr. Tom Chasteen understand the importance of business and industry to the quality of life in Athens. However, we believe that Mr. Maddox is the best candidate for our members. Mr. Maddox is a former small businessperson, a veteran, and a retired employee of the State’s award-winning Labor Department. Mr. Maddox has worked with Chamber member businesses over the years, and he will bring an understanding of our fundamental concerns to the Mayor and Commission sessions. Mr. Maddox understands that business friendly is also community friendly. Most importantly, Mr. Maddox will bring a fresh perspective to Athens Clarke County Government and can bring together our sometimes disparate communities.
GA House District 113: The AACOC PAC endorses Bob Smith. Representative Smith is an uncompromised advocate for education and business in our community. He is a strong supporter of Athens businesses at the state level and chairs important House committees that support economic development for the Athens-Clarke area. Mr. Smith has earned our support.
GA House District 115: The AACOC PAC endorses E.H. Culpepper. Mr. Culpepper is a long-time advocate for Athens-Clarke County, and he understands why the redevelopment of the 316 Corridor can assist Athens in its pursuit of the bio-tech industry, cleaner jobs, and higher paying wages for its citizens.
GA Senate Seat 46: The AACOC PAC endorses Bill Cowsert. Mr. Cowsert’s is a local small businessperson who has bold ideas for our local problems, such as ways to help businesses provide employees with health insurance. Mr. Cowsert is also a supporter of responsible growth and private property rights. We believe that Mr. Cowsert will be a fair and balanced advocate for the Athens area at the State level.
In addition to supporting each of these endorsed candidates financially, the AACOC PAC also asks that you vote for each of these individuals on Tuesday, November 7th 2006.
Michael R. Rainer, Chair
Athens Area Chamber of Commerce PAC, Inc.