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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Sheldon names congressional campaign team

Special photo State Sen. Renee Unterman, center, is congratulated by Georgia Public Health Association President Regina Abbott, left,and legislative liaison Scott Maxwell upon receiving the Legislator of the Year award. GPHA recognized Unterman at its annual statewide meeting in April attended by 350 association members.

Special photo State Sen. Renee Unterman, center, is congratulated by Georgia Public Health Association President Regina Abbott, left,and legislative liaison Scott Maxwell upon receiving the Legislator of the Year award. GPHA recognized Unterman at its annual statewide meeting in April attended by 350 association members.

Some of Gwinnett’s top business and civic leaders have been tapped to help in a Dacula woman’s congressional quest.

State Rep. Donna Sheldon, who is seeking the District 10 congressional seat in 2014, named a team of political professionals with experience in state, national and even international politics to help with her campaign.

“Georgians deserve to hear about how their government can empower them to create opportunities for themselves and their families,” Sheldon said. “This team will help me communicate my vision that hope and opportunity, rather than dependence on government, lies at the heart of the American Dream.”

Sheldon, who has served as the House Majority Caucus Chair in the General Assembly, named fellow Dacula resident Chuck Warbington as her campaign chairman. Warbington, a lifelong Gwinnett resident, is a professional engineer who is known in the community as the executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. He is also a county planning commission member, and was a member of Georgia Tech’s 1990 national champion football team.

Heading the campaign finances is Bartow Morgan, Jr. Morgan is the CEO of Lawrenceville-based BrandBank, and he has played key roles with local entities from the Chamber of Commerce to Georgia Gwinnett College.

The campaign’s general consultant, Scott Rials of RightPath Strategic Affairs, was notably Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager, and he managed Sonny Perdue’s first gubernatorial campaign.

Finance director Ariail Smith from Capitol Strategy Group has assisted the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, who currently represents the district, among others.

Media Consultant is Tony Marsh of Savanna Communications, whose work included Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president, and direct mail will come from Ron Butler of Creative Direct, who also has worked for the national party. The former spokesman for Perdue, Don McLagan of Tactical Communications Solutions, is the communications consultant. He has worked for four presidential candidates as well as governors and U.S. senators.

Finally, Sheldon picked Bryan Tyson of Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP as her legal consultant. Tyson is a former political aide in Washington and Atlanta and his firm has represented the General Assembly.

Unterman honored

The Georgia Public Health Association has chosen a Gwinnett senator as its 2013 Legislator of the Year.

Sen. Renee Unterman, a longtime advocate for public health and a former nurse, was given the honor during a conference last month.

“At the beginning of my career as a public servant, I challenged the Department of Public Health, lawmakers and health advocates alike to sit around the table and develop strategies to keep Georgians healthy,” Unterman said. “This is also a personal challenge that I’ve gladly taken on. The health of our state should come first and foremost, since Georgia needs a healthy workforce and community before we can address other concerns. I am thankful for this recognition and promise to continue prioritizing public health on my legislative agenda.”

Unterman played a role in the creation of the Department of Public Health in 2011, as well as developing a modern funding model. This year, she authored bills to create a statewide Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force.

“Renee Unterman has committed her time and energy to understanding public health issues,” said GPHA President Regina Abbott. “And, she has invested her considerable political acumen in turning good ideas into effective legislation. We are thrilled to honor the senator for her many contributions to the field of public health, this year and in years past.”

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.