More questions answered about this Dawson-area natural gas pipeline project
Atlanta Gas Light’s ongoing Cumming to Hall natural gas pipeline project began this past fall, crossing into Dawson County in February.
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Williamson to challenge Gooch for 51st Senate district
I-John Williamson to run mug

One of the founders of Gilmer County's Tea Party has challenged State Sen. Steve Gooch for the 51st Senate District.

John Williamson, 74, said his dissatisfaction with trends in current state government in regards to taxation was the motivation for his run.

"I'm what we call a taxpayer champion. I'm focused on the taxation we're seeing in our 51st District," he said. "The voters have a choice to break away from the entrenched power politics that intimidates us in North Georgia and responds only to the wishes of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the corporations that want to force their values on us and our state."

Reform involving automobile registration and the birthday tax, as well as the penalty for rejecting the state's transportation special purpose tax, were among several state tax issues that were the platform for him to try to make a change at the state level.

"I would stop the increased taxation and work toward the balance that is a reduced budget, and also I would work for the district and represent their views in Atlanta and work for them," he said.

The 51st district includes Fannin, Union, Gilmer, Lumpkin, White, Dawson and parts of Pickens and Forsyth counties.

Williamson, a retired medical equipment salesman with a Ph.D. in physics, has lived in Gilmer County for the past 35 years.

"I have taken action by volunteering to be a part of the political process and do what I can to move the state government back to common sense Republican ideals," he said. "I want to give the voters in the 51st district a choice, one that values transparency.

"I recognize the difficulties of making a significant change in our state government, but I can promise you that my votes will reflect our shared values."

While Williamson has never sought a political office in the past, he said he is prepared for the job.

"Before you do anything, you need to become informed accurately, so that you can become involved and have credibility and be visible," he said. "Being informed is one of my key interests."

Gooch is a three-term Senator, who was first elected in 2010.