Bill Heath (politician)

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Bill Heath
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 31st district
Assumed office
2005
Preceded by Nathan Dean
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
2003–2004
Preceded by Tom Murphy
Succeeded by Mark Butler
Personal details
Born (1959-10-20) October 20, 1959 (age 57)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan
Children William, Sandy
Residence Bremen, Georgia, U.S.
Alma mater Southern Tech
Occupation farmer, engineer
Committees Agriculture and Consumer Affairs
Appropriations
Religion Baptist

Bill Heath is a Republican member of the Georgia State Senate serving since 2005. He served as 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
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
2000 Georgia House, 18th District Primary Bill Heath Republican 627 100.0
2000 Georgia House, 18th District General Bill Heath Republican 6,562 48.1 Tom Murphy (incumbent) Democratic 7,067 51.9
2002 Georgia House, 18th District Primary Bill Heath Republican 2,989 100.0
2002 Georgia House, 18th District General Bill Heath Republican 6,431 53.9 Tom Murphy (incumbent) Democratic 5,495 46.1
2004 Georgia Senate, 31st District Primary Bill Heath Republican 5,217 31.0 James Garner Republican 5,046 30.0 Mason Rountree Republican 6,542 38.9
2004 Georgia Senate, 31st District Primary Runoff Bill Heath Republican 5,342 50.6 Mason Rountree Republican 5,215 49.4
2004 Georgia Senate, 31st District General Bill Heath Republican 37,822 65.1 Lester Tate Democratic 20,302 34.9
2006 Georgia Senate, 31st District Primary Bill Heath (incumbent) Republican 6,200 100.0
2006 Georgia Senate, 31st District General Bill Heath (incumbent) Republican 25,875 68.0 Tracey Bennett Democratic 12,156 32.0
2008 Georgia Senate, 31st District Primary Bill Heath (incumbent) Republican 10,658 100.0
2008 Georgia Senate, 31st District General Bill Heath (incumbent) Republican 47,859 66.5 Tracey Bennett Democratic 24,086 33.5

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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  6. ^ http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=173370