Brunswick area state Sen. Jeff Chapman surprised some folks this week when he threw his hat into the ring for the Georgia governor’s race.
He’s the seventh Republican to announce, and there are five Democrats, a Libertarian and a handful of folks who have filed paperwork to run but haven’t shown any significant fundraising or other signs of campaign life.
But Chapman said he felt like he needed to get involved. He’s in his sixth year at the legislature and is perhaps best known for taking on state leaders and powerful business interests over the remake of Jekyll Island.
“With all due respect, I can do a better job representing the people’s interest (than the current candidates),” Chapman said Friday.
Chapman recently wrote a piece on state water usage, calling for a more aggressive push to fix leaky pipes in the metro Atlanta area, state tax credits to help people retrofit their homes with more efficient appliances and a review of existing reservoirs and dams to make sure they’re providing as much water as they can.
“We can run out and say, ‘We need to start digging holes in the ground’ (for new water storage),” Chapman said Friday. “But that takes years. ... You land the planes closest to the airport first.”
Chapman is a former Glynn County commissioner and has been a major advocate for Jekyll Island, which the state is helping a private developer remake with a $50 million state bond issue. Chapman has complained about a lack of openness in that process and pushed back against the need for public funding.
Said Chapman: “That same line of thinking (I used on the Jekyll Island deal) I would use on all issues: Accountablity. Openness of government. Fairness.”
...A few other things:
Sen. Chapman said this isn't an attempt to screw up Eric Johnson's campaign, which I imagine some folks will assume. He also resisted my labeling him "the environmentalist Republican" in the race. He said he's a "Teddy Roosevelt conservationist."
He mentioned that his grandfather, when he was in the military, would shower by getting wet, then turning off the water to soap up, then turning it back on to rinse off.
"I've been showering like that since I was 8 years old," he said.