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"Why I'm Running for State Senate" by Josh Belinfante

State Senate Candidate Josh Belinfante answering why he's running for the State Senate and explaining his plan to be an effective representative of Smyrna and Vinings on Day One.

Throughout the campaign, people frequently ask: "Why do you want to run for office?" 

I do not have a simple answer for this.  It's a complex, personal history that started a very long time ago.  When I was a young boy, I had the honor and privilege of knowing my Great Uncle, Ernest Barrett, for whom Ernest Barrett Parkway is named.  He was the first Chairman of Cobb County to bring water, sewage, and many of today's parks to the County.  His leadership was the first major step toward transforming Cobb County from a rural area to a suburban powerhouse and one of the most attractive locations for business, families, growth, and prosperity.  I admired my Great Uncle for his vision, and this inspired my interest in politics. 

As a young boy growing up in Smyrna, I would watch the evening news with my parents and follow local and national politics.  I knew which president I would vote for and understood the common sense of conservative policy.  We later moved to Sandy Springs where I witnessed a great community and an unresponsive Fulton County government.  I eventually grew up, taught high school, graduated from law school, got married, and had children.  My wife now is a physician on the campus of Emory-Adventist Hospital, a facility that my father helped start and practiced dentistry near for years.

Finally, I had the great honor and privilege to be hired as Governor Sonny Perdue's Chief Executive Counsel for 3 years.  In this role, I was able to advise the Governor on legislation and the State Budget; I worked with various House and Senate members to get bills passed, and I learned how to navigate my way around the Gold Dome.  We managed to reduce state spending by over 15% all while eliminating the State's tax on residential property and the senior income tax.  It was an incredibly rich learning experience and one of the most rewarding times of my life. 

The greatest lesson I learned from Governor Perdue was to always value policy over politics.  I worked hard to develop relationships with people who valued Georgia and did not have self-serving agendas, and I'm proud of the accomplishments that we made together.  I'm humbled by the Governor's description of me at our first campaign event: "Josh has the knowledge to know what is right, and the talent to get it done."   

I left the Governor's office to go back into the private sector, and I've been privileged to become a partner at my firm Robbins-Ross-Alloy-Belinfante-Littlefield.  I love helping clients in my current job, but I also feel called to serve more Georgians, especially those living in District 6 - the place I've called home my whole life. 

Like my Great Uncle before me, I'm a reformer.  I want to help bring and keep jobs in Georgia, improve our schools by freeing parents and educators, update our ethics laws, and keep government spending low

This is my passion, and this is why, to answer the original question, I want to run for State Senate.  I hope to earn your support in this endeavor and your vote in the July 31 Republican Primary.

Josh Belinfante

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Brian Oravetz June 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Great start Josh. I'm interested. BUT... Politics are part and parcel to policy in this day and age. We have enough "policy". We need less. We need someone who's going to start erasing the massive piles of written policy; shrinking the size and scope of the government that we have. The politician we can get behind is the one who makes local government the form of government we as citizens most interface with. The fed needs rolled back. The State level needs a severe cleaning as our state legislation is every bit as corrupt, if not more so, than the fed. You're a "reformer"? What are you going to do to make that more than a word sir? The famous "maverick" reformer at the fed level is nothing more than someone who epitomizes "compromise". And compromise is the policy that's brought us the onerous, and expansive government that we have now. A "reformer" is going to roll back government. How does your views on that notion differ?
Josh Belinfante June 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Brian: Great questions. You ask how my views differ in terms of rolling back government. I'll offer you this: I'm the only candidate in the race with experience doing just that. While I was with Governor Perdue, we cut the size of state government by over 15%. Georgia now spends less per capita than any state in the country. I was at the table when those decisions were being made, and I've got the familiarity with the state budget to continue to maintain that top spot. You're also right about rolling back laws and regulations that impact us daily. That's why I called not only for ending burdensome regulations, but I've set forth the only plan to do it: sunset all state regulations every 6 years. It forces a review of them without burdening taxpayers. Also, there are many areas in the Code where we have unecessary, duplicative and burdensome laws. I look forward to working to clean those up, and I have the knowledge to know where they are and the experience to get it done. I've also put my actions where my words are. I'm the only candidate in the race that not only supports the $100 gift cap, but I'm also one that will impose it on myself whether the law passes or not. I came to this position not because I distrust our elected officials, but because voters in the district want it and I want to enhance their trust in our state's government. I hope this response answers your questions, and you can always reach me directly at joshforsenate@gmail.com.

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