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Legislators mingle and meet constituents

DULUTH - Just four days before they will head to the Capitol, legislators spent Thursday getting last minute plugs from their constituents.

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce hosted the local legislative delegation to give business and civic leaders a chance to bend lawmakers' ears.

"The representatives and senators have a large impact on our future, and it's important we know them and understand their issues and they know us and understand our issues," said Tom Karr of the Gwinnett Hospital System.

Karr spent several minutes talking to Renee Unterman, who is vice chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

"Any health care legislation, when it's introduced, we'll have an opinion," he said.

For about two hours, the men and women mingled, sipping wine and beer at the posh 1818 Club.

"It's vital for us to communicate with you," Rep. Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula, said to the crowd.

The two senators and nine representatives in attendance only took a short time for speeches, instead choosing to mingle.

"I'm excited about Monday morning," said Rep. Melvin Everson, R-Snellville, who will attend his first session after winning a special election in November.