The battle for Ga.’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent GOP Congressman Austin Scott faces Democrat Rev. Darrius Butler
The 8th Congressional District includes several parts of Southwest Georgia.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:39 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - One of the choices many will have to make on Election Day is the congressional seat for Georgia’s 8th District.

The district wraps around I-75 from Valdosta up to Macon.

Battling for the seat are Republican Incumbent Congressman Austin Scott and Democrat challenger Rev. Darrius Butler.

Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA) speaking.
Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA) speaking.(walb)

Tifton is and always has been home for Scott. He told WALB News 10 his views were largely shaped by his grandfather and his upbringing in Tifton.

“I grew up in Tifton. My wife and kids, you know, we still live there. So Tifton is home,” said Scott.

Before serving in Congress, Scott served in the Georgia State Legislature and was an insurance broker for over 20 years. He said being a businessman helped prepare him for a career in politics.

“Well, you work with a lot of small business owners, and you understand cash flow and other things and risk management, the things that it takes to be successful. Not just in the good times when you need to be saving money, but in the bad times as well. And so that gave me a lot of experience that has been able to transition into, I think, good policy at the federal level,” said Scott.

Scott said he was always interested in public service.

“Oh you know, I was just always interested in it,” Scott said. “As a kid, I always went to the county meetings and helped with campaigns, and I hope other young people will get involved too.”

Representing Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District for about 10 years now, the pillars of Scott’s platform are the military, agriculture and the economy.

“I’m on the Armed Services Committee. And I’m on the Ag Committee. And so from an armed services standpoint, it’s all about national security and making sure that we take care of America and our friends and allies. And on the Ag Committee, it’s about making sure we take care of the food supply for America,” said Scott.

Scott said his passion for agriculture and national security is deep-rooted in his family.

“My grandfather, on my dad’s side, was a B17 pilot. He was P.O.W for a long-time during World War II,” said Scott. “And so, I grew up with that greatest generation, if you will. I spent a lot of time on the farm with him, with cows. And then my mom’s parents, just your traditional row crop farmers from peanuts and corn. You know, just all the way back to my childhood.”

He shared his message to voters as they head to the polls.

“Hey, go vote, you know, and vote for the person who is consistent with your core beliefs,” said Scott.

Reverend Darrius Butler speaking.
Reverend Darrius Butler speaking.(walb)

On the other end of the aisle is political newcomer Rev. Darrius Butler.

Family is everything to Butler. In fact, they even showed up for Butler’s interview with WALB News 10.

As an only child, Butler was born and raised in Hawkinsville. As a child, he was constantly surrounded by family and faith. He said his background is rooted in service.

“I, you know, got my start in the church,” Butler said. “I started preaching when I was really young with my grandfather with my uncles took over. We took over my grandfather’s church, that was actually his grandfather’s church. So I was the fifth generation Rev. Butler to stand in the pulpit at Sanders Memorial Baptist Church in Buckhead,” he said.

Butler said he also became socially active after Trayvon Martin was killed.

“I just started getting active and being in the community more,” Butler said. “Started a nonprofit, and just started, you know, taking on that sense of obligation to fix the problems in our society.”

He became a reverend because of his paternal grandfather, Rev. Dr. James H. Butler, Jr.

“From marching with Dr. King, to you know, being the president and vice president of Operation Push Back in the 60s and 70s, to be in with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, you watch people do these grand things. And the next thing you know, you aspire to be just like them,” Butler said.

Just 28 years old, this is Butler’s first run for political office. The platform he’s running on is very simple, Butler said.

Candidate Profile: Rev. Darrius Butler

“Families, jobs, health care. That’s it. Families, jobs and health care. And I think that that covers everything,” Butler said.

He shared his message to voters as they head to the polls.

“That I care. That’s No. 1, I care,” said Butler. “You know, I want you to know who I am. A lot of people don’t even know who our congressman is. I want you to know who I am, I want you to know that I’m here for you, I want you to know that I have your back.”