Representative Debbie Buckner
Georgia House District 137

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Welcome!

Experience counts.

It counts more than ever after seven of the hardest years since the great depression. Experience counts more than ever since a generation of west Georgia jobs and population and political power have been moving upriver to suburban Atlanta. Experience counts more than ever now that our political culture has grown poisonous, polarized, and impotent. It’s harder than ever to get work done.

That’s why I’m running for reelection. When critical decisions, hard choices, and principled middle-of-the-road compromises have to be forged, I have experience that counts.

It’s about priorities. It’s about the priorities we share.

Jobs are our first priority.  There are answers, and they include recognizing the reality that state government can foster job creation, create the right environment, incentivize, and make the investments that attract business. The focus must be on good jobs, the kind that can sustain a middle class.  We must keep in mind that what makes a community a good place to live is also what makes an environment attractive to business.

Here is our District 137 agenda.

  • Prioritize bringing new jobs to our part of Georgia: we know this has to be state government's Number One job.
  • Restore State funds for our public schools - improve graduation rates and placement for our graduates.
  • Maintain infrastructure that undergirds economic development whether it is roads and bridges or better access to the information highways.
  • Ensure quality affordable healthcare that is accessible.
  • Careful stewardship of our natural resources.
  • Demand fairer taxes: that result in a government that lives within its means while working effectively for ordinary Georgians.
  • Put our best foot forward: invest in our cultural and higher education institutions, our historic sites, and our parks and tourist attractions to promote the uniqueness of our communities and supports our local economy

Think of the challenges we face. Here in District 137, the issues often come down to the basics. We need roads and bridges, more jobs and stronger economic development, protections for the water we cannot live without, and access to health care in an era of closing or struggling hospitals, of course, but things as simple as keeping the local grocery store open matter enormously. When the education appropriations are down, local property taxes go up to cover the shortfall. We have had to design some creative solutions during these hard times. That means that a good representative is more than someone who pushes a voting button at her desk in the Chamber. I am an advocate, too. I am a community builder. I understand the importance of making slow but steady progress on issues real people care about. It takes leadership that can reach across the aisle to turn things around.

With truly critical priorities like these, this is not the time to send someone to Atlanta who will need ‘on the job training.’

I have fought for our west Georgia priorities in the State House for a decade. Serving today on the Ethics, Natural Resources & Environment, the Retirement, and the State Institutions & Property Committees and formerly on the Health & Human Services Committee, I am positioned to gain attention for our needs. I have a track record reaching across the aisle. I know how – and I have the disposition – to pull together coalitions of legislative votes to get things done. As we head into the critical years ahead, I know how to lead.

I understand the needs of west Georgia, rural, small town, and city alike. I’ve lived in Georgia all my life in Columbus, and Talbot County.  The full range of the challenges and the complex diversity of the new House District 137 is something I know intimately. I’ve done the hard work that it takes to stay in touch with you and hear your concerns, from town hall meetings to meet-and-greets at the corner café to my old-fashioned Whistle-Stop tour. I listen. I’m informed.

I have a track record as a legislator. You can look it up. I’ve worked for local notification of state parks closing to protect our tourist industry, fighting for public safety to keep our crime lab open so crimes can be solved and evidence accurately analyzed, increasing the payment by the state to counties for state inmates in county jails to protect our local tax base from unfunded mandates, funding special education and protecting HOPE scholarship grants, easing professional license renewal for citizens, boosting retirement benefits for hard working families to make sure our seniors don’t fall out of the middle class, assisting with legislation requiring state government to “buy American” which increases jobs, protecting the rivers and the waters we need for life itself, saving our local hospitals. I’ve worked on issues that matter to west Georgians: issues that matter to you and your family.

My daddy always used to say to me, “Do your best.” It’s that spirit that moves me to public service, serving our community, knowing that we are all in this together.

You know I’ll work for you because I already have.