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Douglas to run for 4th state senate term
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State Senator John Douglas (R-Social Circle) announced he will run for a fourth Senate term in the 2010 race.

Douglas represents District 17, which includes Newton County and parts of Henry, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties, and has been a state senator since January 2005. He said his experience, including a term in the Georgia House and on the Newton County Board of Education, make him the best candidate in 2010.

"I regularly attend city council meetings in all 10 cities, and keep lines open with all city and county officials. When you add those things together, and the fact I respond very promptly to my constituents and have the same ideas and the same values that the majority of the district has, that makes me the bets choice for reelection," Douglas said.

Douglas is popular in many communities, but has some critics because of his involvement in local issues.

"I think we have a responsibility no matter where you are, to do what we can to ensure good sound common sense government at all levels. Just because I'm a state senator, doesn't mean I have blinders that keep me from being aware from what's going on at the local and federal levels," he said.

This past year, Douglas sponsored the recently passed Senate Bill 14, fulfilling a campaign promise and preventing any convicted sex offenders from running for or taking a seat on a school board.

This legislative session, Douglas will continue to work S.B. 136, which would repatriate illegal aliens that get arrested or are in the penal system. He said the bill passed the senate and is now in the house.

He is going to introduce a bill to tighten up the rules on brining exotic animals into Georgia.

"Particularly, these large snakes that have been a problem in Florida, and at the moment are not illegal to bring in Georgia. One of these snakes killed a baby in Florida," Douglas said. "The Burmese Python is the main problem. People buy them for pets when they are 6 to 8 inches, and then they grow to be 12 feet long. Then they put them in the swamp. People estimate there are 100,000 pythons in the everglades. We don't want to get anything like that in Georgia, so I'm working with the Department of Natural Resources."

In a press release, he outlined some of the broader key issues facing Georgia and Newton County: the economy, water, education and transportation.

He said Washington is spending recklessly and lowering taxes would be the quickest way to end the recession. He said that water conservation measures must continue to be followed as the state works toward a solution regarding Lake Lanier.

On education, he said control needs to be returned to local school boards and parents and more educational options need to be provided. In a similar fashion, he said transportation can be solved at the local level.

"I believe the local option funding mechanism allowing counties to raise their own money or work with neighboring counties to raise funds is the best option for improving our highways, roads and streets," he said. "I oppose a statewide transportation sales tax increase that would be the largest tax hike in Georgia history."

In the senate, Douglas served as the chairman of the Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee, secretary of the Higher Education Committee and as a member of the Appropriations, Transportation, Public Safety, Ethics, Education, Banks and Banking, and Science and Technology committees. Prior to elected office, Douglas served as an officer in the army and retired from military service in 1994.

"It is a great honor to represent the people of the 17th senate district in Atlanta, and I will continue to work to ensure that all of the citizens of these five counties have a voice when decisions are being made that impact our lives," said Douglas in a released statement.