W.H. “Bill” Bozarth (I)

Occupation: Retired businessman; former executive director of Common Cause Georgia

Previous elective offices held: None.

Community service experience: Executive Director, Common Cause Georgia, 2002-2010; Gov. Sonny Perdue’s appointee on Advisory Board of Office of Consumer Affairs, 2003-2005; Served in various leadership positions on board of Garden Hills Civic Association, 1992-2012; board member of Neighborhood Planning Unit-B; NPU A through F representative on the Atlanta Citizen Review Board during past two years.

Why should the voters choose you for this position?

They should elect me because I am independent of big money and independent of party ties. My loyalty will be to the people who elect me, not to party leaders and special interest donors. I will focus on solving problems, not debating ideology. All voters should judge what candidates will do after they are elected by what they have done before being elected. I have a long track record of stepping up to serve as a leader in my community, fighting for the rights of citizens and neighborhoods. I will be that same person in the General Assembly.

What is the biggest issue facing the constituents you seek to represent? How will you address that issue?

There are several critical strategic issues where the Legislature must lead. They include revising the state’s revenue collection structure to function in the 21st century; smart economic development policies that yield good jobs; and long term planning for healthcare, education and energy. All of these impact District 54 residents. However, I hear the most concerns about the need to address the metro area traffic challenge after the failure of the T-SPLOST. I will engage in legislative action to secure the necessary funding to move forward aggressively in reducing commute times and providing us with viable options beyond the automobile.

What’s the first thing you hope to accomplish after taking office?

As an Independent, my initial challenge will be to establish myself as a viable partner to both parties. My message to House Speaker Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) and Minority Leader Rep. Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) will be that I will work every day to make our legislative body the best it can be. We must focus on crafting solutions to the biggest challenges facing the state. I will seek committee assignment in one or more of the critical strategic areas I identified. I will also employ my significant Common Cause experience to restructuring the State Ethics Commission appointments as well as to closing loopholes in our ethics laws.