Minister/Lawyer vie for District 12 seat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Minister/Lawyer vie for District 12 seat

October 20, 2004

Albany - A minister is challenging a six year veteran of the Georgia senate in the 12th district. Democratic incumbent Michael Meyer von Bremen and Republican Joe Thomas have opposing views on issues ranging from gay marriage to tort reform.

Three term Senator and Albany attorney Michael Meyer von Bremen says his political experience will help south Georgians now more than ever with at least 22 new Senators heading to the state Capital.

"That means one-third of our Senators will be brand new," said Meyer von Bremen. "If you don't have some kind of experience there, people will be running around with their heads chopped off."

Meyer von Bremen says Georgia's newest challenge is combating the skyrocketing cost of health care and preventive care is one answer. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's a lot cheaper to teach someone how to treat their diabetic condition rather than have them go into diabetic coma and incur that hospital expense."

Republican Candidate Joe Thomas agrees health care is a major concern but has another remedy - Tort Reform. He says the high cost of liability insurance is running good doctors out of business.

"Liability cost add some $60-billion to $100-billion a year to health care in this country which causes insurance premiums and the cost of health care to skyrocket," said Thomas. "We got to look at this tort reform and bring about some workable solution."

Thomas a minister, husband, father of five, and Camilla native says he may not have political experience, but he knows what south Georgians need.

"I've moved among this district for the past nine months to hear the concerns of the constituents. I don't think experience will be a problem."

Thomas switched to the Republican party this year because he says he didn't feel the democratic party was supporting him. He hopes to cut wasteful spending and is against gay marriage. "Marriage is between and woman and a man. I have strong convictions about that," said Thomas.

Meyer von Bremen voted to put the amendment to ban gay marriage on the November ballot to allow voters to decide. "That was the overwhelming desire of the people in my district," said Meyer Von Bremen.

The 12th district includes Dougherty, Calhoun, Clay, Terrell, Quitman, Randolph, and Mitchell counties. That's ten of thousands of voters who'll decide between experience or a fresh voice for Georgia government.

Posted at 4:30PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com