Rep Smith received a primary challenger today in the form of John Pezold. Pezold is a former staffer for Congressman Mac Collins and announced today that he will be challenging Smith for the newly redrawn 133rd district. The district is a “safe” Republican seat just north of Columbus. Pezold’s supporters are whispering (loudly) about six figures of fundraising pledges which have been made to his campaign, which would indicate if true that there may be some institutional support behind a challenge to Smith.
The announcement follows on the heels of news that may not sit well with part of the base in HD 133, as Smith was pulled over for DUI in Atlanta late Thursday night. According to disclosure reports, Smith along with Reps Ben Harbin and Jason Shaw were the guests of Chuck McMullen of McKenna Long and Travis Bussey of the Georgia Electric Membership for dinner the same evening. Updated: A new report filed this morning lists David Raynor of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce hosting the same three representatives as his guest for dinner at Alfredo’s on the same evening. The location for “dinner” hosted by McMullen and Bussey is not disclosed on their ethics reports.
News of Smith’s arrest on DUI charges will likely not sit well with Jerry Luquire, former primary opponent of Smith’s and the head of Georgia’s Christian Coalition. While the group’s influence may not be as strong statewide as it once was, the axiom of “all politics is local” may well apply here. A combination of motivated social conservatives with well funded opposition may indicate continued trouble for Smith.
Pezold’s announcement is below the fold.
Columbus, GA) – Asthe state of Georgia’s legislative session has gotten a week’s worth of workbehind them, an enormous amount of support and encouragement has presented itself before small businessman John Pezold to be the next representative from the 133rd district in Georgia’s State House. With a dwindling budget, a plethora of jobs leaving Georgia for neighboring states with less regulation, and an all time high unemployment rate, it has never been more apparent that Georgia needs consistent, conservative, and ethical representation both in district 133 as well as in Atlanta under the Gold Dome. With that in mind and after much thought and prayer with his family, JohnPezold has decided to step up to the plate during Georgia’s most trouble sometimes to announce his candidacy to become the next Representative Of Georgia’s 133rd State House seat.
“As a small business owner and a resident of Columbus almostall my life, I know first hand how regulation and its fallout can hinder a prosperous portion of the state like West Georgia from reaching its full potential,” said Pezold. “It is my intent to bring my experience from the private sector to Atlanta to make sure that proper legislation passes to createthe type of environment in the state of Georgia that I hope my kids and grandkids can enjoy.”
Pezold touts an impressive resume, with a degree in Financefrom Auburn as well as an MBA from Columbus State University. Alongside his extensive educational and private sector background as an owner and operator ofa restaurant, John has always understood the importance of good representationat the local, state, and Federal level. Pezold spent a year working in former Congressman Mac Collins Washington, DC office furthering the conservative causein whatever way he could. “This was my first taste of politics. It was anincredible opportunity and introduction into the ways that politics can bothhelp as well as hurt the average family. It has always been a dream of mine torepresent where I grew up, and I intend to do just that during Georgia’s 2013 legislative session.”
The chief players in Pezold’s campaign show just how muchthe business leaders throughout the district believe in his leadership. J. Edward Sprouse has come forward to lead the Committee to elect John Pezold, serving as its chairman. Mr. Sprouse has long been known in the greater Columbus area as one of the most well respected and intelligent attorneys inthe state of Georgia. “It is an absolute honor to be chosen as the Chairman of John’s campaign committee,” said Mr. Sprouse. “I have known John for many, manyyears – watched his hard work and dedication to his family, friends, as well ashis community. I have no doubt that John will do an incredible job working diligently every day for the constituents of the 133rd House District of Georgia.”
John Pezold is a commonsense conservative and a small business owner in the Columbus greater area. He has been heavily involved with politics since his job with CongressmanMac Collins in 2002 in Washington, DC. Since then, John has learned how to survive as a small business owner by operating within a budget, training employees, managing apayroll and having to make tough cuts when necessary. John is happily married with two young children and currently resides in Columbus, Georgia.