State Rep. Rick Williams has announced his intention to seek his third term as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.
Williams, who is seeking his third two-year term, made his political intentions publicly known during an interview Saturday with The Union-Recorder.
Williams, who along with members of his family own and operates Williams Funeral Homes in Milledgeville, Eatonton and Gordon, said he has enjoyed serving the residents of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, as well as residents in the southern portion of Putnam County.
“That’s why I’m seeking re-election to another term,” Williams said. “I love serving the people of the 145th House District. I would be humbled and honored if they would allow me to continue serving them in Atlanta for another two years.”
Now serving in the fourth year of his second term, Williams said he still very much humbled to be entrusted by the people of the district with the office he holds.
“I’ve always loving serving people and I’ve always had a servant’s heart,” Williams said. “When people reach out to me from another county who not my constituents with an issue or who have a problem that they are having with a state agency, such as Peach Care, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps or whatever, I’m able to put them in contact with someone to help them. When you can help your a fellow Georgian, it’s very rewarding to me. I enjoy helping people and I have made a lot of friends doing it through the years.”
Williams, who served as chief registrar of Baldwin County for 16 1/2 years, said he’s never considered himself to be a politican.
“I just consider myself a servant of the people and not a politician,” he said.
Williams said he was fortunate that his sons and other members of his family are all involved in the family business and oversee it while he is serving in the General Assembly sometimes from December until the middle of April.
After working for the people of his district and the rest of Georgia during the weekdays, Williams returns home for the weekends and does what he can to relieve family members from the family business so they can have some personal time with their families.
He said he was fortunate that he has good health and is able to do the people’s business at the Gold Dome, and to still help out with the running of the family business when he can.
Williams talked about a number of topics being discussed at the state capitol during the current legislative session, as well as several local issues affecting his constituents in both Baldwin and Putnam counties.
When it comes to new legislation, Williams is most proud to say that he has introduced a bill called “Gracie’s Law” that would eliminate children with Down Syndrome and other medical issues to be descriminated against if they need organ transplants in Georgia.
“This is kind of like God puts her in the right places at the right time, this is one of those times and I’m so fortunate to be so rewarded to do this,” Williams said. “I think God everyday for the opportunity to be where I am.”
Williams said the proposed bill enacting Gracie’s Law has been widely embraced by state lawmakers on both sides of the aisles and that was “very rewarding” to him.
“As I sit on the floor and occupy the desk that Carl Vinson had at one time, it’s very humbling to talk about this proposed legislation as well as other proposed bills with Republicans and Democrats,” Williams said. “Surprisingly, we’re not that far apart on a lot of issues. My favorite saying was by John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy said, ‘Let us not seek the Democratic way; let is not seek the Republican way. Let us seek the correct way.’”
Williams’ personal philosophy is similar.
“It’s not about politics or party affiliation, it’s simply about doing the right thing for people,” Williams said. “And enacting Gracie’s Law is the right thing to do.”
The little girl from whom the proposed legislation name comes is actually Gracie Nobles, whose parents are David and Erin Nobles, of Warthen, Ga. in neighboring Washington County.
Williams said he jumped up right away to do what he could to help the Nobles couple when they called him.
“Anytime anyone from the surrounding counties ask me for help, I step up and help them in any way that I can,” Williams said. “It’s not about drawing a county line, we’re all Georgians, and we’re all Americans. It’s doing the right thing.”
Another law that Williams is involved in is Kelsey Smith Law, which is named after a young woman who was murdered.
“I hope to get that through this session,” Williams said.
He also is working to get passed the Anti-Spoofing Bill.
“Just as I was getting ready to drop that bill, and put it in the hopper, the feds enacted their Anti-Spoofing Bill,” Williams said. “So, I backed up and we looked at the Georgia statute and now the fine in Georgia for doing spoofing is $2,000. So, we’ve rewritten that code to raise the fine and penalty to $5,000.”
Again, Williams said he was proud of the fact that he had bi-partisan support on that bill.
“Hopefully, we can get on through committee and approved in the House and then over to the Senate sometime soon,” Williams said.
The state lawmaker, a Republican, who lives in Milledgeville, serves on six different committees in the Georgia House of Representatives.
He serves on the Appropriations Committee, Governmental Affairs, Intregovernmental Coordination, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Regulated Industries.
When it comes to Milledgeville and Baldwin County, Williams said he continues to be concerned about the traffic control devices at the intersection of North Columbia Street and Roberson Mill Road, as well as other state highway improvements planned for Roberson Mill Road.
“That’s something that’s very much needed,” Williams said of the dangerous intersection in front of the Milledgeville Mall. “I’ve had people tell me they’ve quit coming to our mall because it’s so dangerous to turn out and go back northbound.”
He said he’s not given up hope that something can be done by officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation to make it less dangerous to the motoring public in that area of Milledgeville.
When it comes to the southern portion of Putnam County that Williams also represents, he said he continues to stay on officials with Georgia Power Company about the coal ash ponds at the old Plant Branch site near Lake Sinclair.
“”They’ve got to step up and go ahead and get this thing started,” Williams said, referring to the dewatering process, which was scheduled to get back underway Monday.