Monday, September 17, 2007

HD 127: Democrat Bonnie Byrd Gardner

This is no ordinary candidate. A career educator, Bonnie Byrd Gardner is running in a special election to fill the HD 127 seat of republican Rep. Mack Crawford. I had an opportunity to talk with her on the phone a couple of weeks ago, and while we don't agree on everything, I was most impressed. Gardner has spent her life in the Pike County school system as a teacher, counselor and, ultimately as interim superintendent. She is running in large part because of the neglect of public education by the legislature. This a smart, articulate women who has earned a doctoral degree in education. She is a Democrat and describes herself as "a born again Christian" who is "pro-life." One of the interesting tidbits she shared with me was that her husband, who lived in Florida at the time, was a key support of Ross Perot. She has two republican opponents, but just might be in a position to win this seat. Here's her press release:

MEANSVILLE, Ga. – Democrat Bonnie Byrd Gardner, a resident of Pike County, announced her candidacy for the Georgia House of Representatives today. Gardner, who is the former Interim Superintendent for the Pike County Board of Education, is originally from Thomaston. In her campaign, Gardner is concentrating on several issues, including maintaining health care for the children of working families through Georgia's PeachCare program. "I know from being a teacher that an unhealthy child is a child that cannot learn and succeed," said Gardner. Gardner is also focusing her campaign on protecting the state employees' retirement system and bringing more resources to rural areas for emergency preparedness, especially volunteer fire departments. She would also work to give senior citizens some tax relief.Another concern she has is that so many industries have left our state for out-of-country production. We need more job training for the people who have lost their jobs, and those companies who have left need to be strongly encouraged to return. "A vote for me is a vote for the people, especially those who feel like the state government is ignoring their concerns," said Gardner. "I'm ready to get to work serving the people of the 127th District."This is Gardner's first foray into the political arena. She spent 24 years in the Pike County Schools as a teacher, counselor, and administrator and also worked for a short time in the Thomaston-Upson Schools. In 2004, she was asked to serve as Pike county's Interim Superintendent of Schools. She has also served her community as a member of numerous non-profit organizations, including as Past President of the Pike County Council on Child Abuse, President of the Pike County Retired Educators Association, Past President of Georgia Compensatory Educational Leaders, and as a member of the Georgia School Counselors Association, and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.Gardner lives in Meansville with her husband, Bill. They are active members of Meansville Baptist Church, and they co-chair the Survivor Activities for Relay for Life in Pike County. Bonnie has five children and stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.If you would like to be part of the Committee to Elect Bonnie Byrd Gardner, please call (770) 567-3503.


Rie said...

"You Go Girl!!!" We are all so proud of you. Marie "Dodato" Gorgans, NMHS Class of "59

Carolyn said...


If anyone can do what they set out to do, it is you. Truly hope that you are elected and if I lived in GA, you would certainly have my vote. Agree with you on all the issues you listed. Love to you and Bill and GOOD LUCK! Carolyn McMahon Howard

Val@NMHS said...

GEORGIA is more then lucky to have you on their team--we could use someone with your energy, ideas and good sense here in California.
Go with God,
Valerie Healey Kilbourne

Cathy and Moe said...

We hope that Georgia realizes how fortunate they are to have you. You are one SMART cookie!
Cathy and Moe

Margaret Ham Bradbury said...

Way to go Bonnie, Cecil and I both know how hard but rewarding it its to work in government. We will tell Georgia voters that we know to please vote for a winner.

Elcapt said...

Best of luck to you Bonnie!
Even though I'm not a democrat, I'd vote for you cause we need your type of "common sense" on both sides of our government!

Jerry B. Cooper

Rachel said...

Not only is Georgia lucky to have you on their team, but I am lucky to have you as a mother. You are the most amazing person I know. You are always giving and putting the needs of others first. As a child, you always taught me to believe in myself, put God first in my life and never give up. I know with your values, belief in God and your dedication you will do an amazing job if elected. I support 100% and I am proud to say you are my mother and my best friend. Good luck and may God bless you.
Love you, Rachel