Next Wednesday on September 28th from 10-11AM, the Butts County Commissioners Office will host our new United States Congressman, Dr. Paul Broun of Athens, Georgia as well as our new State Representative Susan Holmes of Monticello and State Representative Andy Welch of Locust Grove for a town hall meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce our new Congressman and Representative Holmes to the public and reaquaint citizens with Representative Welch. The candidates will be available for questions from the audience during this time and citizens are invited to bring them. The event is being coordinated by Commissioner G.S. “Gator Hodges” of the 1st District of Butts County.
Dr. Broun represents Georgia’s 10th District, which Butts County will soon be a part of. He was elected in July of 2007 to serve the Tenth District of Georgia. Since his arrival in Congress, he has been appointed to the House Homeland Security Committee, the House Committee on Natural Resources, and currently serves as Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee for the House Science and Technology Committee. Dr. Broun grew up in Athens, Georgia where he attended Athens High School and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1967 with a B.S. in Chemistry. In 1971, he received his Medical Doctor degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. An internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon and a residency at University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama followed.
Dr. Broun served in the military as a jet engine mechanic in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserves and later received a commission as a medical officer in the U. S. Navy. For most of his career, Dr. Broun has practiced general medicine and, in 2002, he went out on his own, establishing a unique practice of full-time house calls. Dr. Broun enjoys the freedom of practicing medicine without bureaucratic encumbrances and has used his experience to introduce commonsense solutions to our nation’s health care financing crisis.
Dr. Broun’s first exposure to politics came at the age of sixteen, when his father won a seat in the Georgia State Senate. Paul Broun Sr. represented the Athens area as a State Senator for 38 years. Dr. Broun participates in many diverse organizations and activities ranging from politics and religion to cooking and sports, including: the National Rifle Association, Gideons International, Rotary International, Trout Unlimited, Gun Owners of America and University of Georgia President’s Club.
Dr. Broun has been married to his wife Niki since 1985 and has two grown daughters, a son and two grandchildren. The Brouns are members of Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens, where Dr. Broun formerly served as an AWANA children’s ministry leader. He is active in the Gideon ministry and, in 2004, he participated in a mission trip to Iraq.
Representative Susan Holmes is a product of rural Georgia and a seventh generation Jasper Countian, raised on a cotton farm in the Farrar community northern Jasper County. An honor graduate of Monticello High School, she went on to receive a BS degree in Business Education from the University of Georgia and has been Bulldog ever since. In later years, she earned over 144 hours of credit in administration and leadership from the University’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. She has taught school (both public and private), served as a postmaster, a legal assistant, and was CFO of a family owned insurance company. She is also licensed as a real estate agent.
She has served on the board of directors of Griffin Technical College, Piedmont Academy, and has been a member of the Jasper County Zoning Board, Jasper Memorial Hospital Board, the Jasper County Library Board, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a member of the Jasper County Board of Health for eleven years, serving as chair for the last year. She was a member of the Georgia College and State University Foundation Board and a Trustee of the Griffin Technical College Foundation.
Susan served twelve years as Mayor of the City of Monticello. Elected as the first female mayor and working with a majority minority council, she succeeded in bringing many honors to the City along with making unprecedented progress. The City of Monticello was named one of the first ten Better Hometown Cities in the state, one of the first five Cities of Excellence, and a City of Ethics. The downtown area has undergone extensive restoration and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Mrs. Holmes as vice chair of the Rural Development Council and appointed her to the Georgia Workforce Development Council. She has served as president of the Georgia Municipal Association, which represents over 600 Georgia cities. She was on the board of the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center, the Georgia Academy of Economic Development, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government Training Board, Leadership Jasper, and the Monticello Downtown Development Authority.
Her accolades include being named as Monticello-Jasper County Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and she was also named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine, as well as one of the five most outstanding women in Middle Georgia by the Girl Scouts Council. She received recognition as Northeast Georgia’s Most Outstanding Citizen and the Georgia Downtown Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award.
In January 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency for the State of Georgia. With 84 offices around the State, Mrs. Holmes administered and managed farm commodity, credit, conservation disaster, and loan programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and to help farmers adjust production to meet demand. Economically, the desired result of these programs is a steady price range for agricultural commodities for both farmers and consumers.
In 2010, Susan ran for and won election to the Georgia House of Representatives from the 125th District of Georgia, which represents Jasper County and portions of Bibb, Jones, Lamar and Monroe Counties. Taking office in January of 2011, she currently sits on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee; the Intragovernmental Coordination Committee; and the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. She has sponsored or co-sponsored 49 pieces of Legislation since taking office, including 6 House Bills. She will be part of Georgia’s 129th District which will included the southern half of Butts County south of Highway 16.
Susan and her husband of 48 years, Paul Holmes, live in Monticello where they are members of Monticello Presbyterian Church. Susan is a member of the Monticello-Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Jasper County Historical Foundation, Monticello Garden Club, Monticello Kiwanis Club, and Sergeant Newton Daughters of the American Revolution. Paul is also very active in his community and has served for the past five years on the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, recently being elected as its Chairman. Both Susan and Paul are very proud of their children, John and Lou Holmes and Cammie and Thomas McCook of Macon, Sam and Lara Holmes of Atlanta and their eight grandchildren, Paul and Sims Holmes, students at the University of Georgia; Tommy, Evans, and Shorter McCook of Macon; and Sam, Susan, and Cammie Holmes of Atlanta as well as their beloved grand-cat, Beethoven.
Representative Andy Welch is a partner at one of Henry County’s oldest law firms, and a native of Henry County. He has a long history of commitment to the people and businesses of this District, beginning with service as a local Eagle Scout and through to his most recent service as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. He has served as Chairman of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and also has service on the McDonough Presbyterian Church’s Endowment Committee, United Community Bank’s Advisory Board, and as an appointee to Lynn Westmoreland’s Transportation and Aviation Advisory Council.
In late 2009 he completed a two year term as an appointee of former Henry County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jason Harper to the Henry County Board of Health, and completed a four year term on the Henry County Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, for which he served as Chair from 2005 to 2008. That committee spearheaded the business community push for the creation and adoption of an award winning Henry County Comprehensive Transportation Plan, adopted by the County and cities thereof in 2007.
Through 2008 and 2009 he served as a member of the Joint Henry County/Cities Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy – Infrastructure and Quality Development Committee which assisted in the development of infrastructure improvement plans for the Henry County Economic Development Strategy.
He has assisted the Chamber and School Board in securing approximately $470,000 from the State of Georgia to assist with the planning of a Southern Crescent Technical College campus to be located on 25 acres adjoining the Henry County High School campus in McDonough. He has personally worked on initiatives to focus upon education, and more specifically upon assisting the Board of Education in developing strategies by which it may achieve its goal of 100% high school graduation by 2022. He is an advocate of retooling high school education to place students on a career path. The Career Pathways Program would allow expanded opportunities for high school students to earn college or technical school credits prior to graduation.
His family roots in Henry and Butts Counties run deep. The Welchs were early settlers of the Sandy Ridge area of Henry County, along Keys Ferry Road. His family maintains his grandmother Cola Pope Welch’s home place and farm along the Ocmulgee in Cork, GA (south of Flovilla) and they return there frequently to share that heritage with their children.
Since entering office in January of this year, Representative Welch has been very active in Butts County and has worked with the Board of Commissioners to sponsor legislation regarding the redistricting of the county and has provided other assistance whenever needed. He will continue to represent the northern half of Butts County once the new redistricting takes place.
Butts County is proud to welcome all three of them to our county on Wednesday the 28th from 10 to 11 in the morning.