Too many state lawmakers are taxing first and deciding how to use the revenue later, Watkinsville attorney Pam Hendrix said after announcing her candidacy for the 119th District of the Georgia House of Representatives.

As a declared Independent, Hendrix will run against Williams in the November General Election, not the May Primary. Independents have between June 27 and July 12 to qualify. Those candidates are also required to obtain signatures from 5 percent of the registered voters.

Hendrix said that she chose not to qualify for the primary in part because her son graduates from high school around the time of that election. But she also said the third-party label suits her well, because the Republican establishment has drifted from its core tenets. 

“I call myself a Republican purest,” she said, “I stand for fiscal conservatism and small or less government.”

Hendrix noted that it was a Republican majority that last year voted for tax increases on goods and services, such as the state’s gas excise and a $5 hotel fee earmarked for transportation projects. The latter legislation raised the ire of the hospitality industry.

Like her friend, Pat Daugherty, who is running to unseat Sen. Bill Cowsert, Hendrix was opposed to those bills.

Hendrix believes Georgia deserves stronger conflict-of-interest rules, as this year a House Republican who happens to be an insurance agent sponsored a bill that would add a 5 percent health insurance commission on sales to small businesses.

“We have to elect people who will do the right thing,” Hendrix said. “You can't legislate ethics.”

As a mother of two children enrolled in public high school, Hendrix would like teachers to have more flexibility and less burden when it comes to class size and standardized testing.

She also supports funding materials and programs for the state’s libraries and stricter rules on work visas and firearms registration.

This is not Hendrix’s first foray into the political sphere. She previously ran unsuccessful campaigns to unseat Superior Court Judge David Sweat and Tax Commissioner Jennifer Riddle.

Williams, the incumbent in this House race, first filled Hank Huckaby’s unexpired term before being reelected in 2012 and 2014.

For more on this story, see the March 17 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.

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