Balfour Bids Farewell To The State Senate.

don-balfourLast week outgoing State Senator Don Balfour issued a press release thanking the people of the 9th Senate district for allowing him to serve.

ATLANTA (October 8, 2014) | Sen. Don Balfour (R- Snellville) has released the following statement regarding his time in the Georgia State Senate:

“For the past 22 years, it has been a great honor to represent the people of Gwinnett. I have lived and worked in our community and state due to my strong belief that Georgia is, and will continue to be, the best state in the country to live, learn, work and raise a family,” said Sen. Balfour. “My time in the Senate provided me with many fond memories, whether passing legislation on the Senate floor, interacting with my constituents or watching Georgia Gwinnett College blossom into the great institution it is today.

Throughout my tenure at the Capitol, you have become friends, colleagues, advisors, teachers and confidants; this is a blessing that I do not take lightly. I fully realize the great opportunity I have been awarded in serving you, and am truly appreciative to have the chance to get to know each and every one of you. Being entrusted as your state senator to represent the values that we believe make this country the best country in the world is one of my proudest accomplishments. The core values of family, faith, free markets and small government combined with the strong will of working Americans will ensure our future success as a country and state. Thank you for two decades of meaningful relationships and a chance to work on your behalf, for the government is nothing without the voice of its people. Teddy Roosevelt once said:

‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat’.

I thank you for the chance to be your representative in the arena.”

Senator Balfour did a lot of good things for Gwinnett County, which many people in our county recognize. Georgia Gwinnett College, mentioned in his statement, currently serves over 11,000 students and would not exist if not for the efforts of Don Balfour. Before serving in the Senate, he was Chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party, a thankless position I also held before being elected to the House. I wish Senator Balfour well in his future endeavors and hope he stays involved in the Gwinnett community.


  1. WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

    He could have ended this after the first two paragraphs and kept the pretense that he was just a humble servant of the people. But no, he had to throw in the Teddy Roosevelt quote to display the haughty spirit he presented when he was still riding high. So back at you from TR:

    “This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.”

  2. Cowabunga says:

    Unbelievable! The self indulgent attitude of these people is incredible. Thank the good Lord above that we had this amazing human being serving us. Without the selfless service of this remarkable person we all may have been homeless, destitute and eating peanuts.

    Bring on the antacids, I’ve got heartburn just reading this drivel.

  3. xdog says:

    Buzz, not to put you on the spot but would you mind answering a couple of questions?

    Did Balfour ever bill the state for his legal fees? If so, what was the determination?

    Does Balfour get to keep campaign donations? For that matter, can he tap campaign money to pay his lawyers. I don’t know about this year but info I’ve seen shows more than $1.5M contributions over the last decade and I wonder if it’s his.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      I am obviously not Buzz, but I can partially answer your questions.

      The September 30th, 2014 report filed by Balfour’s campaign showed $631,916.98 cash on hand. The remaining contributions are not his and are governed by O.C.G.A. 21-5-33. The Ethics Commission list some possible disbursements of excess campaign funds, based on 21-5-33, which include:

      –Contributions to any charitable organization described in 26 U.S.C. 170(c)
      –To any national, state, or local committee of any political party
      –To any candidate (so long as you do not exceed contribution limits)
      –To any persons who made such a contribution to you, so long as you do not exceed the amount contributed by such person
      –For use in future campaigns (but only for that particular elected office)
      –To repay any prior campaign obligations

      • Jon Richards says:

        I am neither Buzz nor a lawyer, but I understand that based on a case involving Jill Chambers a few years back, Balfour could take leftover campaign funds as his own as long as he reported it as income and paid taxes on it.

        The distributions described by Lawton above would obviously be non-taxable to Balfour or the recipient.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Speaking of which, what ever happened to the six figures that Richardson took with him?

      If not already required, Georgia code should require that all remaining funds be disposed of in a timely manner and that the disposition of all remaining funds be reported to the Transparency Commission.

  4. William Ray says:

    It was my pleasure to serve 6 years in the State Senate along side Don Balfour. We were the only 2 senators then residing in Gwinnett County. He was a tireless representative for the people of our community. Among his achievements were the funding for Georgia Gwinnett College, a homestead property tax freeze, and long term tax reform such as the elimination of the car “birthday tax.” He served in the minority and the majority, with power and without. Politics is like life, as it eventually comes to an end for us all. That he was not re-elected cannot obscure that he was an effective representative for those in Gwinnett for many years. I am thankful for his friendship and that I had a chance to work with him on so many issues during our time together in the State Senate.

  5. benevolus says:

    I would guess a whole book could be written about this episode.
    Who are Balfours alleged enemies?
    Did Olens want to prosecute this or not?
    How did Balfour end up with Ken Hodges of all people as his attorney?
    Why was the case so poorly prosecuted?

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