Over at Georgia Report, my friend Tom Crawford reports that state Sen. George Hooks, the Democrat from Americus and one of the longest-serving members of the chamber, is throwing in the towel:
“I’ve got 32 years up there,” Hooks said in a phone interview Friday. “I’ve been floor leader, rules chairman, appropriations chairman, involved in designing the new state flag. It’s been a good run.”
Hooks’ Senate District 14 in southwest Georgia was a victim of stagnant population growth and was eliminated during the reapportionment process last year.
“When I saw the census figures – every county I represented lost population,” Hooks said. “I had nowhere to turn.”
Hooks did not make a farewell speech during the legislative session and had stayed quiet about his political plans since the session adjourned on March 29. If he had decided to run again, he would have opposed incumbent Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D-Albany) in the redrawn District 12.
“Frankly, I don’t like swan songs anyway,” Hooks said. “I will continue to do committee work for the rest of year. I’m going to stay busy.”
Hooks, who operates an insurance business in Americus, was first elected to the Georgia House in 1980 and served there for 10 years. Although he was elected to the Senate in the same year as Sens. Jack Hill and Steve Thompson (1990), Hooks was commonly referred to as “the dean of the Senate.”
To honor Hooks’ service, we’re pushing for a Seersucker Suit Day at the Capitol.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider