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John Douglas, Doug Holt both seeking re-lection in 2008
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Both State Sen. John Douglas (R-District 17) and State Rep. Doug Holt (R-District 112) will be running for re-election.

Douglas, who represents all of Newton County in the senate, is running for a third term. Holt, who represents the eastern half of the county, is also running for a third time

If re-elected to office, Douglas, 54, said residents in Newton County can expect "two more years of integrity and two more years of accessibility."

The chairman of the Veteran, Military Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, Douglas has been a staunch supporter of a policy of attrition to deal with immigrants living in the U.S. and Georgia illegally.

One of his most recent bills - which allows judges and parole boards to consider immigration status when setting bail or parole - was signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue last year.

A bill he introduced this session would make it illegal for any state or local agency to require their employees to speak or learn any language other than English in order to be employed, maintain employment or to be eligible for promotion.

In a press release announcing his candidacy for re-election, Douglas said that eliminating the state income tax was the ultimate goal for tax reform in the state. Douglas also said he would work to solve the county's transportation problems.

"The Salem Road corridor will remain at the top of our list until we can relieve the pressure in that area," Douglas said in the press release.

Douglas also promised to work to provide tax incentives and financial assistance to local governments working to maintain their water resources.

Douglas said he thought it was important that the county be represented in the senate by a delegate who does live in the county. In addition to Newton County, Douglas' district includes parts of Henry County, parts of Rockdale County, parts of Spalding County and parts of Walton County.

Douglas has been named a Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Association of Emergency Services and The National Guard Association of the United States.

According to his press release, Douglas has been endorsed for re-election by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and the mayors of Porterdale, Newborn and Mansfield. He has also been endorsed by Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington and Rockdale Chairman Roy Middlebrooks.

Douglas formerly represented District 3 on the Newton County Board of Education and District 73 in the Georgia House of Representatives.

  Douglas and his wife Susan have one daughter, Katherine. The family moved to Newton County in 1996. He and his family are members of Salem United Methodist Church in Covington.

A retired U.S. Army Major, he is currently the field representative of the Peace Officers Association of Georgia. He is a graduate of Mercer University where he earned a M.A. in Contemporary American Society.

To learn more about his candidacy, visit

Trying for a third

In his time at the capitol Holt, 44, has made a name for himself as a strong proponent for the right of local governments to manage the type of growth that comes into their community.

In 2007 he saw his Fair Annexation Act, which he had labored over for two sessions, signed into law by the governor. This year he is pursuing legislation (House Bill 956) which would put an existing state Supreme Court decision supporting county rezoning decisions into state statute so courts could no longer overturn the rezoning decisions.

"There's still work to be done," Holt said. "This bill that I introduced is specifically part of it and I wish to continue to work on those ends."

In a press release declaring his candidacy for re-election, Holt said the overturning of rezoning denials by the courts has hurt homeowners and local governments who have invested in future land use plans.

Holt said his platform remains the same as the one he has run on in past elections and includes making sure all mandates passed by the state have attached funding at the local level and supporting local governments in dealing with extensive growth.

"I have commitments that I've made in that direction and that's the kind of thing that I'm going to focus on," Holt said.

According to his official Web site, Holt is a member of Smart Growth Newton County and says he will work to advance its agenda. He is also a backer of Congressman John Linder's Fair Tax proposal. Holt writes that he is a strong opponent of immigrants coming into the state illegally and that he voted 'yes' on the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act last year.

Holt said he is not seeking any endorsements in his re-election campaign.

"I would hope that after two terms my work and conduct would speak for themselves and folks would have enough information to judge whether I am worth keeping around or not," Holt said.

Holt is married to Julie Lynn, a librarian at West Newton Elementary School. The couple moved to the county in 1995 and they have a five-year-old son.

He is a graduate of Lehigh University where he obtained a B.S. in Economics. He is the president of his own software and consulting firm, Newton Computing Corporation, which he founded in 1996.

He is a member of First United Methodist Church of Covington. Other affiliations include The Brick Store Club, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy and The Arts Association in Newton County.

To learn more about his candidacy, visit Holt's campaign Web site at