It was in 1982 when, overcoming a rocky political start, this young man was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. But Charles Walker's political influence -- and his ability to help his community -- rose after becoming a state senator in 1990. He assumed the chairmanship of the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee, thus helping to direct additional monies to area medical facilities. He also became the first black legislator to serve on the six-member House-Senate Budget Conference Committee. After the 1998 election of his ally, Gov. Roy Barnes -- coupled with his position as Senate majority leader -- Walker assumed even more statewide budgetary clout.
The Augusta businessman publishes a weekly newspaper and manages several successful companies and properties.