With State Rep. Robert Mumford's (R-Conyers) decision not to seek re-election to District 95, progressive liberal George Wilson is hoping that 2008 will be his year.
Wilson, a businessman and Democrat, ran unsuccessfully against Mumford in 2006. He is challenged in the Democratic primary by engineer Toney Collins.
Calling the most recent legislative session an "absolute disaster," Wilson said he sees a lot of areas where the General Assembly has failed to act, including the areas of public transportation, health care and education.
"I did not like what was going on in the state capital," Mumford said of his reasons for not running, "I thought they were drifting to the right on a lot of issues and were not progressive."
A supporter of mass transit, Wilson said he believes it is the solution out of Atlanta's traffic woes.
"We've stopped and stood still," he said. "[Prospective businesses are] going to stop looking at places like Atlanta because they can't get around in the traffic."
If elected, Wilson said he would work to reform the state's tax code, which he says includes $145 million in tax subsidies."
"Our tax code is a mess," Wilson said adding that the state's tax system hits people with lower income levels the hardest. "I think people perceive the tax system as being unfair and therefore their reaction plays into the conservative's hands."
Wilson, who describes himself as "unabashedly progressive," has spent the past two years volunteering for the Barack Obama campaign and has been active in registering voters in Rockdale, Newton and Gwinnett counties.
In 1990, he ran unsuccessfully for the South Gwinnett Board of Education District 5 seat on a platform of comprehensive sex education, school-based health clinics and anti-censorship.
"I've always been very interested and active in politics," Wilson said, adding that he believes he has an "excellent" chance of winning this year's race.
He is the president and CEO of Automated Business Forms and Automated Data Decisions. He has lived in District 95, which includes the northern part of Newton County, as well as parts of Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties, for 37 years. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Stone Mountain. They have two grown daughters.
Wilson received his B.S. in business administration from Rockhurst College and studied economics at Central Missouri State. He is the chairman and founder of Parents for Better Student Health and is the founder of the Free Speech Movement, which fights censorship in Georgia schools and libraries.
"There is so much to do it's mind boggling," Wilson said. "We have so many problems at the state level that have been allowed and nobody's looked into them. I'm just totally amazed."