Outstanding Legislators . . .

Walter Jones of the Morris News Service has the following look at some notable legislators . . .

Sen. Chip Rogers, a Woodstock Republican in his first term, got put in the hardest-working and the rising-star categories by many people. The months of long days he put into crafting this year’s immigration bill won him accolades from supporters and foes of the bill, in addition to knowledgeable observers. Ditto for Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Atlanta, for quickly becoming an expert on eminent domain.

Sen. Sam Zamarripa, of Atlanta, is a rare Democrat who impressed insiders for his work influencing the immigration bill he opposed. As he noted Wednesday when he announced his retirement from office after only two terms, “In the minority, you have to work hard on your persuasion with a lot of skill.”

Other Democrats often mentioned were Rep. Tom Bordeaux, of Savannah; Rep. Jeanette Jamieson, of Toccoa; and Sen. David Adelman, of Decatur, all for their ability to make arguments on the floor that changed votes.

Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, really hustled as one of the governor’s floor leaders and earned points for his silver tongue.

Likewise, Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, and Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, continue to impress others for their behind-the-scenes work managing the budget process in the House and Senate. Sure, there was a very public spat between House Speaker Glenn Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson on the 39th day, but Mr. Harbin and Mr. Hill got good mentions for getting their jobs done like gentlemen.

Still, Mr. Johnson, a Savannah Republican, got the most votes for best speaker. During his years in the minority, he concocted some of the most quoted descriptions of Democratic bills, but he’s been less loquacious since taking the reins of the Senate. His unprepared comments to Mr. Richardson’s budget tantrum impressed the insiders who’ve seen many a floor speech.

Sen. Preston Smith, R-Rome, has emerged as a go-to guy for his colleagues about specific legal details and legislative mechanics, significant for someone just in his second term.

Agree?  Disagree?


  1. Jeremy says:

    Brian Kemp should have gotten listed. He had some really great bills this session. He introduced the BioFuel Bill that is great for creating markets by mandating local government use, only 4 people voted against it. He also introduced the Equine Bill to help those people start an Equine Commission by placing a tax on horse feed, I would think that would spur a lot of support from the Equine Industry in his bid for Agriculture Commissioner.

    Bill Stephens should have been listed too, He also had a great legislative year with the Voter ID Bill. I love his Voter Outrage of the Week email.

    Sen. Kemp and Sen. Stephens have my vote this July. They are great people.

  2. Jack S says:

    I think Rogers is one of the true rising stars. that guy is going places. I’m still waiting to be impressed by most of the rest of those guys.

  3. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Yes, Senator Rogers is awesome. This is a man that truly works hard for his constituents – he returns virtually every call, email or letter himself – which is saying something considering that most of the legislators have their secretary’s deal with others problems or simply ignore the calls/emails. He is a hard worker, he’s honest, and he’s actually a true, conservative – unlike some of those people who put R’s beside their names just to get elected.

    Preston Smith is also a great leader – I think he continues to prove that year after year.

    Hopefully, the State of Georgia will be fortunate to have these two men in higher, statewide office further down the line.

  4. Beth says:

    The Voter Outrage of the Week emails had nothing to do with his work in the Senate. They were a total crock. They talked about issues in 1998, had incorrect statements about Cobb County elections, and had mis-leading information from the Carolina’s (sorry I don’t remember if it was North or South).

  5. Trey L. says:

    Chip Rogers is impressive. Preston “Showboat” Smith is not.

    I also like Tommie Williams, David Shafer and Greg Goggans. Tommie was very effective as majority leader. The Senate outshined the House in every respect, and it was largely due to Tommie. David made the most innovative proposal of the session — nonembryonic stem cell research using stem cells from umbilical cord blood. It was both good policy and brilliantly packaged. Greg proved himself a tireless fighter for conservative issues.

    John Douglas gets an honorable mention for his spirited and successful opposition to the Jane Fonda resolution.

    Bill Stephens was rightly left altogether unmentioned.

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