Meet the candidates running for State House District 146

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Three people are hoping to get the votes needed to represent Houston County and District 146 in the Georgia General Assembly.

Former House Majority Leader Representative Larry O’Neal (R-District 146) announced his resignation in April. Governor Nathan Deal appointed him as the administrative law judge for the Georgia Tax Tribunal.

Shaw Blackmon, Kelly Burke, and Larry Walker all want to become the next state representative of Houston County.

Blackmon is new to politics.

“We need a simpler, smarter, and more effective approach to government,” Blackmon said.

Blackmon runs a small business and volunteered with several organizations that focused on public education, supporting Robins Air Force Base, and economic development. He says that will help in the general assembly.

“You’ll get somebody whose going up there for the right reasons to serve honorable and I promise you’ll get the absolute best that I’ve got,” Blackmon said.

Burke was Houston County’s district attorney from 1997 to 2010. He says he was called to serve the community again.

“I’ve been consumed in the past couple of years with how poorly the GOP has been doing, in my opinion, with sticking to the big picture of smaller government, less taxes, better education, more liberties,” Burke said.

Burke believes his experience as the former DA will help him get to work right away at the Capitol.

“Whoever goes up there, they don’t have an orientation. They have to go straight to work. I know how to do that. I’ve been there, done that,” Burke said.

Walker is a familiar last name under the Gold Dome. His father was a state representative for 32 years.

“I’m going to work very hard. It’s a hard job, but I’m up to it,” Walker said.

Walker is a small business owner. He says he’s going to serve the community with common sense.

“I’m going to stand up for our conservative values in Houston County and put Houston County people first and I want to move Houston County forward,” Walker said.

The three republicans share similar stances on issues important to the Peach State. All of the candidates want to lower taxes, reduce unnecessary government regulations, and make Georgia the place to do business.

“I think the more government stays out of our lives, individual lives, working families, and small businesses, the better off we are,” Blackmon said.

Concerning public education, Blackmon, Burke, and Walker all want to get rid of the Common Core.

“And restart it with something we already know that works which is local control. Let the parents and teachers teach,” Burke said.

A hot topic expected next legislative session is Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. All of the of the state lawmaker hopefuls support it.

“We need to protect our churches, our clergy, and our religious organizations from civil suit and being pushed into violating their religious beliefs,” Walker said.

Protecting RAFB is a top priority for the candidates. They are also supporters of the Second Amendment.

The winner of the race will serve for one year during the 2016 legislative session.

Election Day is Tuesday, July 14th.

Categories: Elections, Houston County, Local News

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