Hudgens to join insurance race, but that may be no consolation to biotech interests

Certain members of Georgia’s biotech industry had to be smiling this morning, when they read about a new Republican candidate for state insurance commissioner.

Reports the Athens Banner-Herald:

State Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Hull, will run for state insurance commissioner in 2010, he said today.

Hudgens is chairman of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee, a group of legislators that recommends changes to state insurance law.

Hudgens, of course, was the sponsor of S.B. 169, a bill that started as a measure to restrict clinics that offer invitro fertilization, and now — as passed by the Senate — limits embryonic stem cell research in Georgia.

But biotekkies can stop smiling now. Just got off the phone with Tim Echols of Clarke County, one of the organizers of the campaign against the Sunday sales bill. He’s looking at the Senate seat.

Echols said he’s already talked to Hudgens and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, for whom Echols served as campaign treasurer. “Both have encouraged me,” he said.

Echols said he’d have voted in favor of S.B. 169. “How can I not? There’s no hiding the fact that I’m pro life,” he said.

Echols, 50 and the father of seven children, is the founder of TeenPact, an organization that teaches young people — home schoolers in particular — about government and politics.

Echols said that, should he run, he’d concentrate on the concerns of small ranch owners in northeast Georgia, and on making the Capitol more visitor friendly. “Right now, we’re very lobbyist friendly, but citizens coming to the Capitol — where do they go?” he said.

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4 comments Add your comment


March 18th, 2009
11:11 am

Hmmmm…As a state Senator I wonder if Echols will consider it a Christian thing to lie to lobbyists like he suggested during the Sunday Sales hearing.

I guess that his efforts to pawn his home school clone army off to other candidates in exchange for money must not have worked out.

Tom Jumper

March 18th, 2009
11:12 am

From what I hear, he’s not the only on getting in this race. I’m hearing rumors of a strong candidate with a great story – decorated combat vet, free market advocate, rock solid conservative, etc…this will be interesting.


March 19th, 2009
5:55 pm

Gerry Purcell has declared his intention to run. He is an avid free-market reformer, and he has REAL solutions. He has been a healthcare industry expert for many years, and he will make a real difference for ALL Georgians. His main site doesn’t seem to be active yet, but check him out at: .


April 9th, 2009
12:43 am

Stephen Northington, the CEO of Group Insurance Solutions is the sleeper candidate in the Insurance Commissioners race. I have known Stephen for seven years and I will be backing him whole heatedly. It’s time to retire all of the politicians that are more concerned with building there resume’s for the next thing, or one last grasp at greatness before retirement. The politicians are all responsible for Georgia being the second highest taxed state in the nation when it comes to insurance premiums, that’s why AFLAC moved their domicile out of state. Does anyone know if Hudgens voted for the Governors proposed premium increase that failed?
Check out Stephen’s website at: