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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