Bill Heath (politician)

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Bill Heath
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 31st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2005
Preceded byNathan Dean
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
2003–2004
Preceded byTom Murphy
Succeeded byMark Butler
Personal details
Born(1959-10-20) October 20, 1959 (age 54)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Susan
ChildrenWilliam, Sandy
ResidenceBremen, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materSouthern Tech
Occupationfarmer, engineer
CommitteesAgriculture and Consumer Affairs
Appropriations
ReligionBaptist
 
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Bill Heath
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 31st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2005
Preceded byNathan Dean
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
2003–2004
Preceded byTom Murphy
Succeeded byMark Butler
Personal details
Born(1959-10-20) October 20, 1959 (age 54)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Susan
ChildrenWilliam, Sandy
ResidenceBremen, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materSouthern Tech
Occupationfarmer, engineer
CommitteesAgriculture and Consumer Affairs
Appropriations
ReligionBaptist

Bill Heath is a Republican member of the Georgia State Senate currently in his third two-year term. He is currently the Senate Floor Leader for Governor Sonny Perdue. Prior to his election to the state senate, Heath served one two-year term in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Political career[edit]

Bill Heath's first foray into electoral politics was in 2000, when he challenged Tom Murphy, the Democratic Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, for the 18th State House District. Murphy had held the seat since 1960, and had skated to reelection time and again.

Despite the state Republican Party taking no initial interest in the race, a very competitive race would materialize. Heath would raise over $60,000, a very competitive sum for a State House race.[1] Aiding Heath was the ongoing shift in the district's demographics, with the district becoming more suburban and more Republican as Atlanta's outer suburbs had begun bleeding into the district; Republican candidates for other offices had frequently won the district[2][3] Heath would lose the race by 505 votes, a margin of less than two percentage points.[4]

Heath finally defeated Murphy in 2002, in the final race of Murphy's life.[5] Upon taking his seat in the Georgia House, Heath acquired national attention in 2004, when he added a ban on adult women's ability to choose to get genital piercings onto a bill designed to ban the genital mutilation of children. Adult men would still have been allowed to choose to have their genitals pierced under Heath's amendment. The attention arose from both the difference in the way Heath's amendment treated women and men and from Heath's seeming lack of knowledge regarding the practice he proposed to legislate. The amended bill passed the House 160-0, forcing it back to the Georgia Senate.[6]

Election History[edit]

Election history of Bill Heath
YearOfficeElectionSubjectPartyVotes %OpponentPartyVotes %OpponentPartyVotes %
2000Georgia House, 18th DistrictPrimaryBill HeathRepublican627100.0
2000Georgia House, 18th DistrictGeneralBill HeathRepublican6,56248.1Tom Murphy (incumbent)Democratic7,06751.9
2002Georgia House, 18th DistrictPrimaryBill HeathRepublican2,989100.0
2002Georgia House, 18th DistrictGeneralBill HeathRepublican6,43153.9Tom Murphy (incumbent)Democratic5,49546.1
2004Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictPrimaryBill HeathRepublican5,21731.0James GarnerRepublican5,04630.0Mason RountreeRepublican6,54238.9
2004Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictPrimary RunoffBill HeathRepublican5,34250.6Mason RountreeRepublican5,21549.4
2004Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictGeneralBill HeathRepublican37,82265.1Lester TateDemocratic20,30234.9
2006Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictPrimaryBill Heath (incumbent)Republican6,200100.0
2006Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictGeneralBill Heath (incumbent)Republican25,87568.0Tracey BennettDemocratic12,15632.0
2008Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictPrimaryBill Heath (incumbent)Republican10,658100.0
2008Georgia Senate, 31st DistrictGeneralBill Heath (incumbent)Republican47,85966.5Tracey BennettDemocratic24,08633.5

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chapman, Dan: "Taking on Mr. Speaker; A Political Newcomer is Giving Tom Murphy his Toughest Race in Years", p.1F, 2000
  2. ^ Pruitt, Kathey: "Showdown in Haralson: Legendary Speaker Murphy Faces Stiffest Challenge", p. 3D, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2000.
  3. ^ Chapman, Dan: "Taking on Mr. Speaker; A Political Newcomer is Giving Tom Murphy his Toughest Race in Years", p.1F, 2000.
  4. ^ http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/election_results/2000_1107/0008900.htm
  5. ^ http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/tom-murphy-biography/nJZDQ/
  6. ^ http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=173370