Saying “enough is enough,” Oglethorpe County resident Doug Bower, 62, has announced his plans to seek the 47th District State Senate seat now held by Ralph Hudgens. Hudgens, who will run for state insurance commissioner, is not seeking re-election.
Bower joins former Braselton mayor Pat Graham, Hoschton businessman Kelley Gary and Winder businessman Shane Coley as those who have announced their candidacy for the District 47 State Senate race. Qualifying will be held in April with a primary set in July.
The 47th State Senate district includes Barrow, Madison and Oglethorpe counties, and parts of Jackson, Clarke and Elbert counties.
Bower, a professional counselor and a former Oglethorpe County Commissioner, will qualify as a Republican. His campaign theme is: “Enough is enough.”
“We are going through a very difficult economic time,” Bower said. “Therefore, I am going to run a very low-budget campaign. If I can’t get elected on the strength of the will of the people, I am not interested in holding a State Senate seat.”
Bower, who lives in Arnoldsville, first ran a “nontraditional” campaign for Congress in 1992 as a Democrat, but said he learned during the process that he was a better match in the Republican Party. He ran for the Georgia House of Representatives as a Republican in 1994, 1996 and 1998. He was elected to the Oglethorpe County Board of Commissioners in 2002, served one term and did not seek re-election. He is a former chairperson of the Oglethorpe County GOP.
“I am also aware of the disappointment in partisan politics,” Bowers said. “It is past time for elected officials to work together to address problems. We’ve got to listen to the citizens and to each other and find workable solutions. If we make decisions that don’t have the desired effect, then we need to change them instead of blaming others for the failure.”
Bower identified issues during the campaign will include education, transportation infrastructure, health and the economy as major issues.
His educational background includes an associate of arts degree in nursing from Manatee Community College, Bradenton, FL., a bachelor of science degree in pre-med from Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, a master of divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, and a Ph.D. in counseling from the university.
He is circuit rider on the Bishop Circuit, a part-time appointment with the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He also operates Counseling Ministries, which offers short-term counseling “to individuals struggling with personal issues.”
Bower is an elder in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a Kiwanian, serves on the Oconee River Resource Conservation and Development Committee and chairs the Special Needs Committee of the Host Committee of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
He has served on the Community Service Board of Advantage Behavioral Health Systems and the Oglethorpe County Senior Citizens Advisory Committee. He served on the boards of Action, Inc., the Revenue and Finance Committee of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the United Way of Northeast Georgia. He chaired the Committee on Native American Ministries for the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.