Incumbent Republican Will Wade has defeated Republican candidate Tyler Tolin for the seat of Georgia State House District 9 Representative in the May 24, 2022 election.
In Georgia’s House District 9, which includes portions of Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties, Wade received 81.54% of the votes (9,327 votes), defeating Tolin by approximately 7,215 votes.
Who he is: Wade is a Dawson County native, former Dawson County Board of Education member and community banker. He has served as Georgia House District 9 Representative since January of 2021, after winning the November 2020 election for the seat.
How he reacted: In an interview with DCN on the morning of Wednesday May 25, Wade said that he feels honored and humbled by the support of local voters in the election.
“I’d like to say thank you to the community that I love so much that I’ve been a part of my entire life,” Wade said. “It’s a part of my DNA and it’s truly humbling that more than 8 out of 10 voters in this district trust me to be the representative in their seat, to be their voice.”
He said that, as the incumbent, he has been working hard to represent District 9 and plans to continue to work just as hard moving forward.
“I’m just honored and blown away by that outpouring of support in the ballot box; I don’t take that lightly and I will continue to work hard on the issues that matter most to this district as well as other Georgians across the state,” Wade said.
He added that he wishes his opponent, Tyler Tolin, the very best moving forward into whatever is next for him.
“To those that supported my opponent, I’m gonna represent you with every bit of myself and do what I think is best,” Wade said. “I wish him well in his future and I thank him for his service to our nation as a former member of the military.”
What’s next: As he moves into his next term as state house representative, Wade said that he hopes to help expand the conversation about tax cuts, continue his work and advocacy for good quality public education and potentially join the transportation committee.
“I’d really like to see us expand the conversation surrounding additional tax cuts, especially to the income tax,” Wade said. “I think we can continue to make headway on strategically reducing and getting rid of the income tax, but we’ve also gotta take a really hard look at things like tax credits and tax exemptions at the state level, so I wanna continue to work on that effort.”
During his time in office during his current term, Wade has been a voice and an advocate for public education policy, and he said that he plans to continue on with this goal in his next term.
“I want to continue to be a voice for good quality education policy that keeps the student and the family at the center of that legislation while also hearing and listening to educators that bring a wealth of information and knowledge to help provide really, really important insight into what’s gonna make our schools even better — not just schools in this district but schools across the state of Georgia,” Wade said.
While he does not currently serve on the transportation committee, Wade said that he hopes to get involved and join this committee moving forward, in hopes of helping the county and city keep up with the growth that has come about in the past several years.
“In our area, with the fact that we’ve seen as much growth that we have seen over the last several years, I wanna make sure that I’ve got a seat at the table,” Wade said. “I want to make sure that we allocate the resources fairly to this district to help the county and the city deal with the growth that we’ve seen over the last 4 years of a very, very thriving economy.”
He added that he hopes to open a small office in the Dawson County community soon, to give his constituents a chance to more easily set up face-to-face meetings with him and voice their questions or concerns.
"I’ll be announcing that soon; that way, if there are people that have questions or needs in the district then I can schedule meetings with them,” Wade said. “I also hope to continue having a relationship with the University of North Georgia — my wife and I sponsor a scholarship for two students at UNG — and this would give them an opportunity to help with constituent services.”
Wade added that he’s incredibly encouraged by the large turnout of voters who came out to make their voices heard during this election, and that he hopes that just as many voters will come out to participate in the upcoming November election.
“I hope folks will continue to come back out and vote with such enthusiasm in November because we need to make sure we continue on the path that we’re on,” Wade said. “I always think if it isn’t broke don’t fix it and Brian Kemp has done a phenomenal job as our governor and I think that folks at the ballot box sent a message that was clear that they trust him to continue to be at the helm for state policy and for state leadership in Georgia.”
Wade will end his current term and begin his next term in January of 2023.