State House District 117 Representative candidate Houston Gaines says part of his inspiration for running is his grandfather, Judge Joseph Gaines. “Because of folks like my grandfather, this community is an amazing place – and has made me who I am today. And it’s why I feel so passionately and what has compelled me to work for the opportunity to serve the people of House District 117,” Gaines said. Photo from houstongaines.com
Consultant at Lighthouse Counsel Houston Gaines is running for District 117 Representative for the Georgia House of Representatives in a special election held Nov. 7. Gaines answered questions with Co-Editor-in-Chief Aneesa Conine-Nakano about his run and objectives.
Co-Editor-in-Chief Aneesa Conine-Nakano: Can you tell me a little bit about your background in politics?
Consultant at Lighthouse Counsel and District 117 State Representative candidate Houston Gaines: I’ve been actively involved here in the community — from serving as Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson’s campaign manager to being a part of many nonprofit boards to serving as student body president when at the University of Georgia. These experiences are one of many reasons why folks are joining behind our campaign of commonsense conservatism. We have over 20 elected officials endorsing our campaign and community leaders in the four counties of the district working hard to ensure our message is successful on Tuesday.
ACN: What led you to run for Georgia House District 117 representative?
HG: This community is my home as a third generation Athenian. My grandfather was Judge Joseph Gaines — he was a special person and an unbelievable community leader. Through a lifetime dedicated to service, my grandfather conveyed to our family the importance of being in touch with our community and using our voices to enact positive change. With these values in mind and with the support of friends and community leaders, I decided to run for State House.
The people of this community are my neighbors and friends — the people I care about and the people I know. Because of folks like my grandfather, this community is an amazing place – and has made me who I am today. And it’s why I feel so passionately and what has compelled me to work for the opportunity to serve the people of House District 117. I feel this is a chance to give back to a place and a people that have been there for me.
ACN: What are the main issues you hope to tackle as Georgia House District 117 Representative?
HG: I want to serve my neighbors by working for better educational opportunities for our children, good-paying jobs and new investment in transportation options to improve mobility. I believe in low taxes and smaller government, the value of free enterprise and personal responsibility. Much of my focus will be on the myriad of issues that surround our K-12 and college and technical education systems given the proximity to the University of Georgia and other K-12 and higher education institutions. The district is in a unique position to support these institutions, and it should be incumbent on the representation of our district to work with and support their efforts to educate our students, create and support jobs for our neighbors and contribute back to the local economy. This district has seen tremendous job growth and economic development over the last several years, and we should be focused on retaining those existing jobs while attracting new businesses.
The best way to bring more jobs and economic development to this area and to the state is by creating an environment for businesses to succeed. I’ll work to ensure state government creates a climate for job creators that keeps Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation to do business. I’ll also work to bridge gaps between the state’s economic development officials and local leaders.
These are issues that impact our everyday lives and are top of mind for this district — and I would be proud to advocate for them for our citizens under the Gold Dome.