BUFORD -- The daughter of a retired school secretary and General Motors worker, Kathie Youngblood Glass was taught the importance of education and hard work during her Buford upbringing.
Now, those lessons are helping her on the campaign trail in Texas, as the Libertarian candidate for governor.
The small-town girl, who won the Little Miss Buford pageant at age 4 and was both valedictorian and cheerleader for her high school, is going big time, with a recent televised debate and appearances throughout the Lone Star state.
For her family back home, Glass' success is no surprise.
"Kathie was never shy, just always seemed to be very confident in what she wanted to do in life," said her cousin Susan Gilbert of Suwanee. "I'm thrilled to death for her. She has certainly got the intelligence as well as the stamina to do what is needed."
Glass, who moved to Texas after completing law school, said the campaign has been fun. The mother of two enjoys explaining her ideas, using evidence like her studies have taught her.
"I was always very independent minded, a natural born Libertarian," she said, but added that she never considered politics when she was a youngster.
Her high school class of 1971 must have thought differently, though, as she was voted Buford's most intelligent and most likely to succeed.
Phillip Beard, the chairman of the city commission, said he remembers "Kathie Youngblood," as she was known then, as a smart person.
"I think it's great that we've produced somebody with that status," he said when he learned of the campaign. "I wish her well, and I know the whole community does."
Glass said many of her Georgia friends have reached out, becoming fans on her Facebook page, and her mother Runell Youngblood said she has been surprised at her ability to campaign for her daughter so far away, by talking to people with connections to Texas.
"Kathie's always worked hard to do her best in everything she did," said Runell Youngblood, adding that she is proud of both of her two daughters. "Whether she becomes governor of Texas or not, she'll always be a winner to us."