Thursday, October 15, 2009
If I were compiling a list of possible candidates for Georgia's Lt. Governor, this how it would look
(1) Former State Senator Michael Meyer von Bremen (D-Albany)Senator Michael S. Meyer von Bremen, a Democrat from Albany, was elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 12th Senatorial District.
Born August 19, 1957, Senator Meyer von Bremen attended public schools in Albany and graduated from Mercer University in Macon in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He earned his law degree from Mercer in 1983.
He served as the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee. He served as a member of the Senate Appropriations, Judiciary, Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Reapportionment Committees.
Sponsored and passed ethics laws, tax cuts, and anti-crime legislation
(2) Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver (I)Deke Copenhaver currently serves as Mayor of Augusta, Georgia. Mr. Copenhaver was born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Columbia County, Georgia. After attending the University of Georgia and earning a B.A. in Political Science from Augusta College, Deke worked for Nations Bank Securities in Atlanta for several years. After relocating to Beaufort, South Carolina in the mid-nineties, he went on to a career in real estate, serving as a principal in the firm of Huffines, Dukes, and Copenhaver LLC. After moving home to Augusta in 1998, Deke worked as a sales representative for Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate. He accepted the position of Executive Director of the Central Savannah River Land Trust in July of 2001. During his tenure, Mr. Copenhaver directed the expenditure of over $1.1 million in greenspace purchases throughout Augusta-Richmond County while at the same time developing a program that is widely considered the finest of its kind in the State.
In 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Deke to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Board. Deke also currently serves on the boards of the Georgia Municipal Association, Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, the Augusta State University Foundation, the CSRA Regional Development Center, the Richmond-Burke County Job Training Authority and serves as vice-chair of the Augusta Regional Transit Study Committee. He is a past board member of the Augusta Symphony, Historic Augusta, Young at Art, Mainstreet Augusta, the Family Y of Metro Augusta, the Georgia Alliance of Land Trusts, the Georgia Conservancy, the Augusta Museum of History and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. Mr. Copenhaver served as chair of the Environmental Issues Committee, along with serving on the Editorial Committee, for Leadership Augusta’s Destination 2020 Initiative and is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Georgia. Deke currently serves on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s International Development Committee. Mr. Copenhaver is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Augusta and Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon.
In 2003, Deke was recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s “Top Forty Under Forty”. He is the 2003 recipient of the Family Y of Metro Augusta’s “Linda H. Walter Leadership Award”. In 2004, Mr. Copenhaver was appointed to the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Advisory Council by Governor Sonny Perdue, serving on the Partnering and Leveraging Committee. In 2005, the Council's work resulted in the setting aside of $100 million in state funding for statewide land conservation through the passage of the Georgia Land Conservation Act. In 2005, Deke served as Augusta’s co-chair for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s “Red Carpet Tour”, which promotes statewide economic development. In 2006 and 2008, he was named a Notable Georgian by Georgia Trend Magazine and in 2007 and 2009 was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by the same publication. Mr. Copenhaver was named Alumni of the Year by Augusta State University in 2008 and is the 2007 recipient of the “Brother Commissioner Lee Norris Beard Award” given by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Alpha Chi Lambda Chapter) at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast. His hobbies include golf, hunting, running, writing and reading. He and his wife Malisa live in Augusta with their two dogs, Finn and Gracie Lynn.
(3) State Rep. Debbie Buckner (D-Junction City)Debbie G. Buckner (D- Columbus) represents House District 130. A native Georgian, she has lived in the Columbus area since 1957. She was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2002. House District 130 consists of parts of Talbot, Harris, and the eastern part of Muscogee County.
Rep. Buckner is currently serving as a member of the Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, and State Institutions & Property committees. As a freshman legislator, she served as secretary of the State Institutions & Properties Committee, a member of the Health & Human Services Committee, a member of the Natural Resources Committee and was the only freshman to serve on the Water Subcommittee. She is a former assistant to the Majority Whip.
Rep. Buckner is the Director of Community Benefit at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, having previously worked for Doctors Hospital and the Columbus Health Department as Senior Public Health Educator. She earned her BS in Health Science from Columbus State University and attended Georgia Southwestern College to do postgraduate work and earn a teaching certificate.
Rep. Buckner is a Board Member of Twin Cedars. Her community service includes volunteering for the American Lung Association of Georgia, Columbus-Ft. Benning chapter of the American Cancer Society, Concharty Council of Girl Scouts, West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, Columbus Hospice, Three Rivers AHEC, The Jekyll Island Foundation, The Valley Collaborative for Suicide Prevention and Historic Talbotton Foundation.
In 2004, she was inducted into the gracious ladies of Georgia, was named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Rural Health Association, was presented the American Heart Association’s Outstanding Advocate Award, and received the American Cancer Society’s Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award for 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006, she was recognized by the Georgia Alliance for Tobacco Prevention. In 2006, the Georgia Environmental Council honored her as the Legislator of the Year.
In 2008, The Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park named her Georgia State Representative of the Year, and the Georgia Conservation Voters honored her with an Environmental Leadership Award.
Representative Buckner and her husband, Mike, live at Fielder's Mill in Talbot County, one of the few operational grist mills left in Georgia. They have three children, Josh, John and Olivia.
(4) Former State Senator & Mayor of Milledgeville Floyd L. Griffin Jr (D)Floyd Griffin, retired U.S. Army colonel, former Georgia state senator and former mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia, was born May 24, 1944, in Milledgeville. Griffin holds an A.S. in funeral service from Grupton Jones College, a B.S. in building construction from Tuskegee Institute and a master's degree in contract procurement and management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
Griffin's twenty-three-year career in the military began in 1967 when he served as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor in Vietnam. He also served a tour of duty in Germany, where he was a logistics officer, battalion chief, and director of engineering and housing. From 1984 to 1986, Griffin commanded an engineering battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and from 1986 to 1990 he was assigned to the Pentagon. Retiring from the military as a colonel in 1990, Griffin taught military science at Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University, where he also was the offensive backfield coach for a football team that enjoyed two undefeated seasons and won back-to-back championships.
In 1994, running as a Democrat, Griffin was elected state senator from the 25th District of Georgia and was reelected in 1996. He sacrificed his Senate seat in 1998 to run for lieutenant governor but lost. Griffin tried again for his old Senate seat in 2000, and was narrowly defeated by the incumbent in the primary election. Not discouraged, Griffin ran for mayor of Milledgeville, his hometown, and won in 2001. An accomplished businessman, Griffin is vice president of Slater Funeral Home in Milledgeville, a Griffin family-owned business.
He was elected in 2006 to Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
(5) State Senator Tim Golden (D-Valdosta)Golden serves as Secretary of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for the annual state budget, and as a senior member of the influential Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with writing the state’s tax laws. Golden also serves on the Insurance & Labor, Higher Education and Government Oversight Committees. He is co-chairman of the special Study Committee on the Future of Manufacturing and is chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
During the past three years, for his work promoting health care issues, he received both the Georgia Hospital Association Legislative Leadership Award, and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians “Champion of Family Medicine” Award. In recognition of his work on children health care issues, the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians named him their “Legislator of the Year” in 2007.
Known as a strong advocate for Georgia business, Golden was honored with a 2008 Legislative Achievement Award by the Georgia Retail Association. He was recognized by the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce as “Legislator of the Year” for 2007, and the group called it a “Lifetime Achievement” award for his long time advocacy of business interests in the General Assembly. That same year, the Georgia Industry Association made Golden their “Champion of Industry” for his efforts to promote manufacturing issues in Georgia.
Key supporter of the Hope Scholarship Program since its inception. HOPE has helped over 25,000 deserving students in the 8th Senatorial District attend tech schools or universities since 1993 totaling over $63 million in assistance.
Authored and passed "Rural Georgia Physicians Shortage Act" - 1995
Passed Self-Employed Health Care Tax Cut legislation in 1998 saving self-employed individuals $8 million in state taxes.
(6) My Wildcard Candidate & favorite Ray City Mayor Carl Camon (D) He has served for two terms as a city councilman and is currently serving his fifth term as the first African-American Mayor of Ray City. As mayor, he helped start the first Pre-K program in the State of Georgia operated by a municipality. He founded the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute of Ray City, and the Mayor and Council’s Education Initiative Scholarship. He was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes in 2002 to serve a four-year term on the County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council, where he also served as chairman. He has served as Chairman of the Mayor’s Motorcade for the Southern Region of Georgia, Chairman of the Environment & Natural Resources Policy Committee and as a member of the Budget Committee, and Executive Committee for Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), located in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also selected to serve as a member of GMA’s Training Board.
He was instrumental in acquiring a total of nearly three million dollars in grant funds for the Ray City Pre-K, the Ray City Fire Department, the Ray City Water & Sewer Department, and for downtown development during his tenure as mayor. He declared war against drugs in his community and was awarded a grant for $30,000.00 for surveillance equipment, to help in the fight against drug dealers and drug activity. He was selected as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars in Georgia.
He has an earned Master’s Degree in Special Education, and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership, both from Valdosta State University. He is employed, as a collaborative educator. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers four times, and was selected as “Teacher of the Month”, and was nominated as “Teacher of the Year”. He has also championed state legislation that protects teachers in the performance of their duties.
Served as Chairman of The State of Georgia’s County & Municipal Probation Advisory Council
Served As Statewide Chairman of Georgia Municipal Association’s Environment & Natural Resources Committee, and Served on Board of Directors, Budget Committee, and Executive Committee
Served Two Terms As the Regional Chairman of the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade Which Benefits Patients at State Mental Hospitals
Served on Board of Directors for the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Center
Honorary 347th Group Commander for Moody Air Force Base
Traveled to the Pentagon in Support of Moody Air Force Base
Selected as Civic Leader Tour Member and Traveled on Military Aircraft to the Air Force Academy in Colorado & Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in support of Moody Air Force Base
And was named to Georgia Trend's 40 under 40 in 2002 when he became the first black mayor of Ray City in 1998.
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