First-time candidate Republican Diana Williams, who is running for the District 43 State Senate seat against incumbent Democratic State Senator Ronald Ramsey, said she never wanted to run for office.
"I don’t like politics," said the 45-year old Air Tran flight attendant trainer. "I don’t like to see what happens when people run for office… I’m not running for office because I’m looking for a title or some sort of prestige."
She said she’s running because she’s been dissatisfied over the past couple of years with how her tax dollars are being spent. "So many frustrations culminated in my decision to run for office. I thought, ‘Why not? There’s no one else out there,’" said the Midwestern native and Mormon.
Williams, who is married to husband David and counts five grown children and stepchildren altogether, moved to the Atlanta area because of her work. She discovered Rockdale County by accident when a broker suggested looking at some houses in the area. "The people here are wonderful. I just love it here," she said.
Williams feels too much of the tax burden is being placed on homeowners and that government is encroaching on personal freedoms.
"It’s like a child. You give a child a certain amount of freedom, especially when they’re learning how to walk. They’re going to fall down, get some scrapes and bruises. Instead they’re wanting to buoy us up all the time, and I think that’s detrimental. Individualism is being looked as a bad thing. Strong individuals are going to make stronger families, and stronger families make stronger communities," she said.
To address the budget shortfall, she said there were cuts that needed to be made that wouldn’t be popular.
"In my own household, we’ve had to cut back on some expenditures," she said. "We’ve got to prioritize the spending. Currently, we’ve got money going into country clubs, state airplanes. There are programs that I’m sure are redundant, ineffective or don’t meet that basis of government."
She said her priorities for spending would be public safety and education.
"Teachers shouldn’t have to be taking furloughs," she said. "We need to be taking a look at administrative level salaries and put more of the focus back on the teachers."
"I wish Georgia could opt out of the national Department of Education," she continued. "I guess that ties a little bit into states’ rights. People hate to hear that word because they think, ‘Oh, we’re going to bring back slavery.’ It has nothing to do with that… We know better how to educate those children here in our state than Washington does."
As a new candidate running at time when issues of ethics have been a focus in the general assembly, Williams said she invited public questioning.
"I have no political ties to anybody in the state. I am not bought and paid for politically. When it comes to business, none of my business or property holdings tie to any other business or any other political candidates.
"I don’t want people to vote for me because they think, ‘Wow, she’s just a really good person. I want them to ask me questions. Don’t take what I say on face value or what my opponent says at face value. Pray about it."
To contact Williams, email email@example.com or go to www.votedianawilliams.com