Republican to bid for District 95 state representative (April 17, 2010)
Landslides in local state races (Nov. 3, 2010)
Septic and plumbing company owner and Republican Rodney Upton recently announced he would run again for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives – but this time in the new House District 114.
When the redrawn lines take effect for the July 31 primary, the current District 107, which now covers portions of Walton and Gwinnett counties, will be considered the new District 114, which will cover the northern quarter of Rockdale and parts of Walton, Gwinnett and Barrow counties. Republican Tom Kirby recently won a special election run-off for District 107 after the sitting Representative Lynn Walker left the seat for a ministerial position.
This is the second time running for election office for Upton, 31, who lost the District 95 seat bid in 2010 against Rep. Pamela Dickerson, who will now become the incumbent of the new District 113, mostly in Newton County.
Though he thought about running for 114 a while ago, he said he wouldn’t have run if Walker had remained in his seat.
“With the redrawing of the district there were parts of Barrow and Rockdale that weren’t able to have a choice in who to represent them in 114,” Upton said.
He said running the first time in 2010 was a leap of faith in reaction to federal legislation.
“I felt compelled to run in 95 originally as a knee jerk response to what I believe was the federal government overstepping its bounds,” Upton said. “The night I decided to run for state representative was the night Obamacare passed.”
He said he wanted to run for a position on the state level to help the state opt out of the portions of the health care legislation.
This time, however, he said, the motivation came from other people encouraging him. “People I met on the campaign trail said you need to run again. I’m going in with a lot more encouragement and prompting from friends, family members.”
Upton’s platform will focus on family, fair taxation, and fiscal responsibility.
“I want to see that families can live and thrive in a safe healthy environment,” he said. “My heart goes out to the families here in Georgia, and in our district in particular who are concerned about the uncertainty of our economy. The general economy affects the family economy.”
He said he supports the Fair Tax on the federal level, and would support a flat, consumption-based tax on the state level only if surrounding states were doing the same thing.
“I think our current system is very difficult to understand. It’s too big a system. The Fair Tax is truly a fair tax,” Upton said.
But, he added, “I do not believe we can be responsibly talk about passing a consumption tax unless all the surrounding states are doing the same thing… I believe if we were to pass a consumption tax and eliminate other forms of taxes (in Georgia), we would encourage people who live in border counties to shop outside of the state.”
Upton said as a business owner, he has an eye for eliminating waste and fiscal responsibility.
“What I would look for is any money that’s going to be spent, what research has been done, how do we know this money is going to be used wisely and efficiently. If it’s not, eliminate the program or find new leadership.”
“If money is being thrown at projects that will not benefit the citizens of Georgia, it should be eliminated,” he said. “If an incentive can be proven to have an overall benefit to communities or to Georgia, I have no problem with that.”
With education making up a large portion of the state’s budget, Upton said he believes teachers have a difficult job and should be paid well for their work. His mother was a teacher in three different states for private schools, he said.
“I don’t believe proper pay for a teacher is a waste of money. But at the same time I want to see some incentive put in place that’s results oriented.”
Upton and his wife LaRae have six children. He moved to Rockdale from Louisiana in 1997 when he was 16 years old, and attended a private Christian high school in Pennsylvania.
For more information, contact Upton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-727-8994.