Scott, Spinks battle for District 153 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Scott, Spinks battle for District 153

July 18, 2004

Tifton- Representative Austin Scott may have only been 29 years old when he was first elected, but he says he's no youngster when it comes to representing his district.

"I've been working for a Republican majority for 8 years, and the seniority and the positions on the ways and means committee, the house agriculture committee, as the ranking Republican on the Government affairs and licensed Industries committee. Those things don't come with one or two or even three terms of service," he says.

The insurance agent has been hitting the streets trying to get Tift County voters to send him back to Atlanta for the fifth time.

"We want to just do some common sense things that will help the general public with their everyday lives."

Scott is already ahead of the game because he knows what some of those things are.

"I'm working to pass an ethics bill that says that people that control public funds can't spend those funds with their private companies. Obviously, some people are upset about that legislation, but I think that's one of the things we need to do to restore public trust."

Scott says his constituents have also voiced concerns about the rising costs of healthcare. If re-elected he's got plans to address that as well.

"I've also sponsored legislation that will prohibit hospitals from charging uninsured patients more than they charge insured patients," says Scott.

But he isn't the only one who wants to control the cost of healthcare. His challenger Michael Spinks has also been canvassing the county, hoping to follow the footsteps of one of his biggest political idols.

"My father served for 26 years in the Senate and the Georgia public Service Commission, and he instilled in me that anytime you have an opportunity to give back to your community you should do so," explains Spinks.

Spinks wants to give back by representing the people of State House District 153.

"They just want to have someone up there that they can talk to, and Mr. Scott's done his job up there, but he's been up there eight years, and I just think that it's time for a change of some different views," Spinks says. "I'm going to be accessible. I enjoy talking to people. I enjoy hearing their concerns and the issues that they have, and I look forward to taking their issues to Atlanta."

One of those issues, partisanship in local elections.

"There's a lot of concern about local elections and there needs to be non-partisanship in local elections because a lot of the people can't vote for the candidates that they want to, and that's a Constitutional Right for us to be able to vote for who we want to. I'd like to put my name on a bill so that local elections are non-partisan."

But first, Spinks will have to convince voters he's their right hand man when comes to being their voice in Atlanta.

"I just want them to know that I'm ready willing and able to serve them as a representative if they give me the opportunity," says Spinks.

There is no Democratic or Independent candidate in the race for House District 153. It will be decided in Tuesday's Republican primary.

Posted at 5:22 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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