GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Three years ago, a brash young Cumming businessman with no political experience and very little name recognition announced his campaign against one of the most powerful senators in the state of Georgia. People in his Forsyth County district thought he was crazy.
“They laughed,” he said. “You remember that,” he reminded a familiar face in the audience at Thursday’s Lanier Tea Party Patriots meeting where Williams was the featured speaker.
Undeterred, he began showing up at Tea Party meetings, GOP meetings, anywhere a crowd would gather and he told people, “I’m Michael Williams and I’m going to be your state senator.” Folks who had never heard of him couldn’t believe he had the audacity to challenge a long-term incumbent senator like Jack Murphy.
“But we went out there and worked our tail off, knocked on about 20,000 doors and I spent about $300,000 of my own money,” he said. Against all the odds, he not only won, he won big, earning 66 percent of the vote.
“The establishment did everything they could to stop me, to discredit me,” he recalled. But Williams was not be denied.
A year after his election, he was ready to spring another surprise on Georgia voters. Once again, he went against all the odds, all the pundits and all the pollsters and became the first elected official in the state to endorse Donald Trump for president. He not only endorsed the soon-to-be president, he became co-chair of Trump’s Georgia campaign.
The two men actually have a lot in common. Both are successful businessmen. Both are fed up with the status quo in American and Georgia politics. Both believe over-regulation hurts business and kills jobs. Both support massive tax reform and both are anti-establishment.
Williams said it took him just one general assembly session to realize the process for passing a bill into law in Georgia is fatally flawed. “I knew it would take someone who was not willing to work inside that process to change things. You have to work outside the process and bust it wide open.”
Which is part of the reason Williams decided to run for governor.
“We’ve had a Republican governor for 16 years. We’ve had a Republican-controlled House and Senate for over a decade. But what truly conservative legislation have we passed? We’ve had all the power for over a decade so we could have gotten done anything, anything we wanted to get done. So why wasn’t it been done? It’s the process the bills have to go through. If you could see that process, you would be infuriated.”
Williams wants to end the state income tax like Florida and other states have done.
“That would be a big win for Georgia. I would also like to freeze the budget. Let me elaborate on how we can do that.”
Georgia has a state auditor that audits internal controls of state agencies annually and the agencies are failing miserably, he explained. “In Georgia, we’re getting ‘qualified opinions’ across the board. If a public company were to get a qualified opinion, its stock would crash and its executive team would be immediately fired. Immediately fired! Our internal controls are failing miserably. They’re spending money and can’t track it. They’re buying all kinds of equipment and don’t know where it goes.”
I’m a CPA and you can believe I’m going to be in these agencies setting up internal controls so we know what’s going on. Imagine the money we will save when we actually know where it’s going.
Williams wants a state school board elected by the people not appointed by the governor.
“Instead of a bill that says the state will take over failing schools, thus adding government on top of more government, let’s give it to the people. Instead of the governor appointing school board members let’s pass a bill that says the people get to vote on them.
Asked about a religious freedom bill, Williams said he supports such a bill and would like to reach out to all the opposing groups to figure a way that we feel like we’re protected and they feel like they’re not discriminated against.
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