State Senator Joey Brush announced last week that he's running for reelection in the fall, and from the looks of it, he may be in for a dogfight.
Longtime Augusta businessman, former Columbia County Commission Chairman and fellow Republican Jim Whitehead recently announced that he too plans to run for the 24th district seat in the Georgia Senate, a position that includes McDuffie County. Despite the competition, Sen. Brush -- who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee -- likes his chances.
"I think we're really making some headway," he said. "The governor and I, we feel like we're finally getting some of our ideas to the table and making some progress, particularly in education, which is my passion."
Sen. Brush was elected to the state Senate in 1998 after serving four years in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Mr. Whitehead said that if elected, he will pay more attention to people and their concerns.
"I will work the best for the 24th district and will do all I can to represent them," he said. "When they have a concern, I definitely will call them back and talk to them about that. ... I think it's very easy to say that you're going to work for tort reform, work for education, but the thing I've done. ... I've talked to a lot of mayors, county commissioners, and even the Republican Chairman and they've said, 'This is important to us.' Some have infrastructure needs, highway needs, while some just want better representation and want to be given a better deal on being able to contact their representatives."
Sen. Brush said that his leadership and experience make him a more attractive candidate than Mr. Whitehead.
"He's a nice guy," Sen. Brush said of his opponent. "But he doesn't have the experience at the state level. He doesn't have the seniority ... he won't have the committee chairmanship. ... I don't think (my constituents) have any particular issue with the way I've represented (them), opposing their will or not representing their wishes."
Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
Sen. Brush also has several big guns at his disposal, including Governor Sonny Perdue.
"Joey Brush is my friend. As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Brush has been a strong ally of this administration," said Gov. Perdue in a written statement.
Mr. Whitehead said he isn't scared of his opponent's allies and said he's looking forward to the challenge.
"I like to talk to people, and I like to listen to people...I want to represent people in a manner they're proud of," he said.