The responses to these questions were edited for length and clarity by the Georgia Decides team. Each candidate was allotted 150 words for each answer and some answers were trimmed in order to abide by that length requirement. Other edits were made to make sure readers can fully follow and understand the candidate responses.
Campaigning for: State Senate District 32
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
I have a dual background as a physician and business leader. I have been an effective legislator since 2017, passing legislation for the benefit of my district and the state.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
The government’s role in the lives of Georgians should be limited and there needs to be accountability at all levels for not only taxpayer dollars but also intrusion into citizens’ lives. The government should be responsible for keeping us safe from crime and other threats to our security. The private sector can frequently innovate and solve problem more efficiently and quickly than government.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
I work a lot on helping bring transparency to our very complex healthcare and insurance environment. I also work hard to look out for our men and women in uniform, military and first responders and to make Georgia a veteran-friendly state.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
I am accessible to people from all walks of life and listen attentively to be sure that I understand all sides of an issue before making a decision.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
Johnny Isakson was a personal hero and mentor of mine. He demonstrated how to do the right thing regardless of the political fallout and encouraged me to do the same.
Georgia has a lot to offer current and potential residents, but many parts of the state are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Please explain your proposed approach to address housing affordability through legislation and executive actions?
Most housing decisions are made at the local level by zoning and planning boards and commissions. I believe we should allow maximum flexibility for innovative housing solutions at the local level and that state government should not be proscriptive in this area.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
Most legislation is incremental in nature and there are usually changes as bills work through our committee system. I think this system works pretty well to improve bills before they get to a vote. Of course everyone has their own principles that they are unwilling to compromise, on both sides of the aisle.
There were politicians who questioned the outcomes of Georgia elections in 2018 and 2020. Do you think Georgia’s elections are secure and will you stand by the results?
I think there is always some degree of fraud in elections, and that we have made a lot of progress in making our elections more secure over the last few years. I support audits and transparency to ensure that our elections are being handled in a competent and secure way.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion. If elected, how will you use your authority in the state Senate to influence abortion access or enforcement of abortion restrictions?
Enforcement is not handled by the legislature. The legislature has already passed HB 481. I want to prioritize prevention of unintended pregnancies as well as support for moms and babies.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
I have supported funding in the state’s budget for various programs administered by state agencies for the benefit of people with disabilities and have fought for my constituents who face challenges in this area.
Georgia closed out its budget year with a “likely record surplus, billions of dollars in federal aid and a growing economy.” Georgia spends more than half of this money on education and health care. What would you want to see in the budget in terms of spending or taxes?
I would like to see zero-based budgeting by our state agencies to insure that taxpayer dollars are being spent in a cost-effective way. I support returning excess funds to the citizens, after adequately funding our reserves.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
The state Senate is mostly collegial and most of the bills we vote on are not along party lines. Those are usually not the ones that are reported by the media. Many of the issues I work on with regards to health care, insurance and veterans issues are not very controversial. We have serious problems that need all hands on deck, such as mental health, substance use and crime, especially gang activity.