Crotts sets sights on Douglas’ Se­nate seat

For­mer sen­a­tor dis­qual­i­fied from run­ning in 2006

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

Af­ter he was found in­el­i­gi­ble to run for State Se­nate in 2006, for­mer State Sen­a­tor Mike Crotts moved to Cov­ing­ton where he an­nounced on Thurs­day that he will again chal­lenge Sen. John Douglas for the Repub­li­can Party nom­i­na­tion.

The events which lead to Crotts’ dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion nearly two years ago from the Se­nate Dis­trict 17 bal­lot still weigh on Crotts’ mind as ev­i­denced by the lengths Crotts has gone to en­sure that he will be able to run for of­fice in Novem­ber.

In 2007 Crotts said he was sum­moned for jury duty in Dis­trict 17 and was paid by the court for serv­ing.

“That in it­self, I be­lieve, proved my res­i­dency,” Crotts said.

Last Oc­to­ber Crotts moved to a house lo­cated off of Brown Bridge Road in Cov­ing­ton. Crotts said he has put his home in Henry County, which for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Cathy Cox ruled in June 2006 lay out­side of dis­trict bound­aries, up for sale.

Crotts served six terms in the Se­nate and was the rank­ing repub­li­can sen­a­tor be­fore re­dis- trict­ing in 2004 elim­i­nated his dis­trict and a failed Con­gres­sional run cost him his seat at the state capi­tol.

“I’ve just had so much en­cour­age­ment by the peo­ple that want me to go back,” Crotts said of his de­ci­sion to run again. “It’s some­thing that I en­joyed. I en­joyed serv­ing the peo­ple.”

Crotts cited his greater num­ber of years of ex­pe­ri­ence serv­ing in the Se­nate as a chief rea­son for vot­ers in New­ton County to vote for him over Douglas, who is seek­ing a third term.

Dur­ing his time in the Se­nate, Crotts served on six stand­ing com­mit­tees, was the chair of the Se­nate Ethics Com­mit­tee and was the vice chair of the Se­nate Trans­porta­tion Com­mit­tee.

“I think that with my years of ex­pe­ri­ence and the com­mit­tees I’ve served on, I can ac­com­plish more,” Crotts said.

Crotts said he has proven his abil­ity to ob­tain ear­marks for the county by send­ing roughly twice the amount of money to New­ton County as the pre­vi­ous two state sen­a­tors com­bined. Crotts said he also worked hard to bring SKC Inc. to Cov­ing­ton 10 years ago.

A strong so­cial con­ser­va­tive, in his time at the Se­nate, Crotts saw a bill he in­tro­duced mak­ing English the of­fi­cial lan­guage in the state passed and an amend­ment he spon­sored to the Ge­or­gia Con­sti­tu­tion which pro­hibits same-sex mar­riage ap­proved in a voter ref­er­en­dum by a wide mar­gin.

Douglas has also made a name for him­self as a staunch pro- po­nent of con­ser­va­tive is­sues. This ses­sion he in­tro­duced a bill which would make it il­le­gal for any state agency to re­quire its em­ploy­ees to speak a lan­guage other than English as a re­quire­ment of a pro­mo­tion.

Crotts said of Douglas’ bill, “All he’s do­ing is amend­ing my res­o­lu­tion. If any­thing it ap­pears that he’s copy­ing me.”

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, Crotts is run­ning on four is­sues which he says are the core of his cam­paign. They are the econ­omy — he sup­ports Gov. Sonny Per­due’s tax cuts, ad­dress­ing high health­care costs, pro­vid­ing tax cuts for the el­derly and lim­it­ing the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s role in ed­u­ca­tion by plac­ing the em­pha­sis on lo­cal school dis­tricts.

Crotts said he was not a sup­porter of House Speaker Glenn Richard­son’s GREAT Plan, which would elim­i­nate all ad val­orem taxes and re­place them with a wider sales tax. Crotts said he would rather see a tax plan passed sim­i­lar to Con­gress­man John Lin­der’s FairTax Plan. The FairTax would elim­i­nate all state in­come taxes and re­place the lost rev­enue with a 7.5 cents sales tax. Crotts said he was in fa­vor of elim­i­nat­ing ad val­orem taxes on cars and re­plac­ing the lost rev­enue with a one or two cent in­crease on gaso­line taxes.

To ad­dress ris­ing health­care costs, Crotts said he would sup­port cut­ting off all emer­gency health­care to im­mi­grants liv­ing in the state il­le­gally. How that would be done with­out vi­o­lat­ing fed­eral laws needs to be worked out by the state Crotts said.

Crotts said he was also in fa­vor of im­pos­ing a higher tax bur­den on em­ploy­ers who hire un­doc­u­mented work­ers. Crotts said he fa­vored a pol­icy that forced il­le­gal im­mi­grants to vol- un­tar­ily move out of the state by tak­ing away the so­cial ser­vices and jobs that they de­pend on.

The race be­tween Crotts and Douglas will no doubt be a very tense one with Douglas al­ready an­nounc­ing that he has se­cured the en­dorse­ments of Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle, Con­gress­man Lynn West­more­land, three may­ors in New­ton County, Rock­dale County Sher­iff Jeff Wig­ing­ton and Rock­dale County Chair­man Roy Mid­dle­brooks.

He and his wife, Phyl­lis, have one son. He is the owner of Crotts Re­alty and In­sur­ance Com­pany, a com­mer­cial real es­tate firm.

Crotts is a char­ter mem­ber of Ki­wa­nis In­ter­na­tional and is a past-pres­i­dent of Choices for Chil­dren, a non­profit which ad­vo­cates on be­half of abused chil­dren. He is a for­mer chair­man of the Stan­dards and Ethics Com­mit­tee of the Board of Real­tors.

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