After 32 years in the education sector watching the state's school systems continue to struggle, Rudy Cox says he was moved to try and change things from the inside with a run for the state senate.
As the only Democratic candidate running for District 17, Cox, who lives in McDonough, is assured a place in the November general election. This is the first public office he has sought.
"I can see a great number of changes that are happening that are not good," said Cox, of the state's educational system.
If elected, Cox, who holds a doctorate in education, said he would work to improve education by making sure adequate funding is available at the state level for school systems.
"We've had changes but no funding to support the changes; therefore, there have been some shortfalls in getting teachers, building facilities and having the appropriate funding for programs for children," Cox said. "Without a good foundation, a house just won't stand."
Cox said he would bring with him a well-rounded view of government drawn from his years of experience working for the state, federal government and non-profits. He says he would focus on bottom-up solutions to state government.
"I've taught elementary through college," Cox said. "I have a pretty good idea of the things that need to be done."
While education is his passion, Cox said he also can be expected to actively legislate on issues like health care for all Georgia citizens, water resources and ensuring that the state has a low unemployment rate.
Cox has lived in District 17, which includes all of Newton County and portions of Henry, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties, since he was 2. He earned his B.S. in business and masters in personnel from Tuskegee University. He earned his doctorate from Clark University.
Cox spent 10 years as a secondary education teacher in Coweta County. Cox has also been employed as a teacher in LaGrange and in Alabama. He has taught courses on education administration at Argosy University. He is currently employed by Troy University where he teaches foundation-level courses.
"I'm well-rounded in all of those areas," Cox said. "I have a pretty good view on the inside as well as the outside."
He and his wife, DeBarra, have three daughters. The oldest is a teacher.