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State Senate 17 - Rick Jeffares (R)
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The race for State Senate District 17, which covers all of Newton County, is the most crowded in the state, despite the fact that Rep. John Lunsford (R-McDonough) pulled out of the race in April.

Five contenders have stepped forward to replace Sen. John Douglas (R-Social Circle) who held the seat for six years; Douglas is running for Public Service Commission, District 2.

Rick Jeffares

Republican Rick Jeffares, owner of a water quality business, is running to continue to uphold the conservative values practiced by Douglas.

"Sen. Douglas has been a tireless worker for us in the state senate and our community is losing a strong voice at the state capital. I am running to help fill a void of conservative leadership and fight for the issues important to us," Jeffares said in an e-mail.

Jeffares owns J & T Environmental Services, a company which works to preserve and protect the water quality in communities throughout Georgia, he said.

"As a small business owner, I know what it means to balance a budget, make payroll and make tough, real-world decisions," he said.

Jeffares also works for G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers, where he oversees construction projects. He was also city manager of Locust Grove from May 2001 to February 2008.

Jeffares has a bachelor's degree in technology management from Clayton College and State University, as well as several water treatment specific certifications.

He is a member of Sharon Baptist Church and a softball coach, has volunteered for Water Missions International, and has organized three golf tournaments to raise money for Haven House, a group which assists victims of domestic violence.

For more information call Jeffares on his cell phone at (770) 316-2691