POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Gwinnettian to take key role in Senate

In case you missed the news last week, Gwinnett Sen. David Shafer was picked by the GOP to serve as the president pro tem of the Georgia Senate.

(Officially, the vote will take place when the session begins in January, but because the Republicans have such strong control of the chamber, the party gets the pick.)

Shafer, who represents Duluth, will become the 68th president pro tempore in the history of Georgia. The president pro tem chairs the Senate Administrative Affairs Committee, which is responsible for operations of the Senate, and is charged with speaking on behalf of the entire Senate, a press release said. He also assumes the duties of the lieutenant governor in his absence.

Renee Unterman, another powerful senator from the Gwinnett delegation, said she was honored to nominate and second Shafer for the position, during a meeting at Little Ocmulgee State Park. She had 19 proxies from the Reform Caucus to support her colleague.

"Our Reform Caucus is committed to uniting fellow senators with the lieutenant governor restoring order, transparency, and ethics to the Georgia State Senate," she said of the group.

The appointment is a coup for the county, she said.

"Gwinnett's prominence continues to rise with the state's legislative leadership, as our delegation leads both in the Senate and the House," she said. "Sen. Shafer is a shinning example of our talent in Gwinnett County."

Attempts to reach Shafer on Friday were unsuccessful, but in a statement Thursday he said: "I am humbled by the support shown by my Senate colleagues in today's election. ... With the upcoming legislative session less than two months away and with several critical issues needing immediate attention, it is imperative that we begin work now."

Woodall, Johnson on Petraeus' resignation

Gwinnett's congressmen sounded off last week on the recent resignation of Gen. David Petraeus, who stepped down after an FBI investigation revealed an extramarital affair.

"I am saddened for Gen. Petraeus and his family, though my concern is for the security of America's classified information," U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, said. "Gen. Petraeus remains a great soldier and one of the most dedicated defenders of freedom and liberty in our time, and he has promised Americans that his relationship created no breach of security at any time. What has always made Gen. Petraeus a great leader is his willingness to accept responsibility both in success and in failure. Knowing that, I take Gen. Petraeus at his word and hope that the FBI investigation will confirm his assurances."

Woodall had kind words about the military man's service to the country.

"Gen. Petraeus brought a measure of peace and stability to many in Iraq and Afghanistan when it seemed that such a mission was impossible, and for that I am truly grateful," he said. "As Gen. Petraeus recently stated, 'we must recognize (our mistakes), learn from them, and take off the rearview mirrors and drive forward.' I pray for Gen. Petraeus and his family that they will find that path forward together."

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat whose district includes portions of Lilburn and Norcross, had similar sentiments.

"It's a tragedy for a brilliant career to end in scandal, and at this point it appears to be nothing more than a sex scandal that does not involve a breach of national security," he said. "We should let the FBI conclude its criminal investigation before embarking on (Congressional) oversight investigations."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.


Coolray 2 years, 8 months ago

I guess the culture of corrupt is being taken state wide. Good luck guys and gals, as for the rest of us hide your wallets and get ready to be screwed.


DavidBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

Congressman Hank Johnson's district now also includes a portion of Snellville previously represented by Rob Woodall.


Foray1 2 years, 8 months ago

Senator Shafer will do a great job in this new leadership position. Gwinnett should be very proud to have such a capable leader in the State Senate.

The Senator has always been receptive to my concerns and I always get a quick response when I contact his office.

Keep up the good work and thanks for all you do for your constituents.


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