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Freshman lawmaker from Newton says first year ‘great learning experience’
Rep. Sharon Henderson says she worked to meet constituents, considered legislation in 'best interest of the community'
Sharon Henderson
State Rep. Sharon Henderson speaks to the Newton County Board of Commissioners in September. - photo by Courtesy of Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. — District 113 State Rep. Sharon Henderson says she worked to acquaint herself with constituents and review bills that “pointed toward the best interest of the community” in her first year as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

Henderson, a pastor and retired banker, took office in January of this year representing a district that included parts of Newton and Rockdale counties. She was the only Newton County resident in the county’s six-member legislative delegation.

She served as a member of the House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee which was responsible for holding hearings to monitor the spending programs within the $25.9 billion state budget.

She also was a member of the Game, Fish & Parks Committee and the House Retirement Committee, which oversees both the Teacher's and State Employees Retirement Systems for the thousands of retired public school teachers, University System employees and other state workers. 

In her inaugural session, Henderson authored legislation allowing student-led prayer during a time period dedicated each day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; and co-sponsored a resolution recognizing Newton County’s Bicentennial year of existence.

She won the District 113 seat from incumbent Pam Dickerson in the 2020 Democratic Primary in her third try after losing to Dickerson in 2016 and 2018. Henderson then was elected in the November 2020 General Election without opposition.

The Covington News asked her some questions recently about her first 11 months in office as she worked during the General Assembly’s current special session on redistricting:

CN: What happened in your first year in office that made you happy you worked to win your House seat, and why?

The first year was definitely a great learning experience. I got a chance to get to know and become acquainted with my constituents. I reached toward the benefit of our community in the areas of education, health care and the community as a whole. As a legislator, reviewing bills that pointed toward the best interest of the community, serving on committees and other duties that encompasses my position as a legislator.

CN: What would you say was the most challenging part of representing District 113 this year, and why?

No part was challenging because I welcome testing my abilities. With that said, I made sure I kept in touch with constituents, managed my time wisely, mindful of being a problem solver, vote my conscience and know where to get help if I needed it in order to be an effective legislator.

CN: What were your top two or three accomplishments as a House member in your first 11 months?

Being there for my constituents, making sure they can reach me for any concerns they may have. I am their voice and I echo their concerns.

CN: Looking to the future, other than generally dealing with COVID, what is your top legislative goal, or piece of legislation you plan to sponsor or co-sponsor, in the 2022 session?

Looking to the future, it's literally impossible to state legislation other than dealing with COVID because we are living in a pandemic and everything is associated with and surrounds COVID.

I would like to work on legislation to strengthen the economy, reducing mental and physical health care costs, improving education, better medical care for veterans and assisting people of underserved communities such as addressing their most pressing needs.

Sharon Henderson
State Rep. Sharon Henderson