Originally created 09/05/01

Former legislator considers another run



Former state Representative Robin Williams isn't counting out any future bids for political office, local or otherwise.

In one of his first public appearances since losing the Georgia House of Representatives District 114 seat to Rep. Sue Burmeister, Mr. Williams addressed a crowd of more than 150 at the Richmond County Committee for Good Government's monthly meeting Tuesday night, held at the Julian Smith Casino Barbecue Pit.

"When you stop laughing at yourself, it's time to get out of this business," Mr. Williams said of politics. "Well, I'm still laughing."

Championing the involvement of political candidates during upcoming elections for Richmond County marshal and the Augusta Commission, Mr. Williams expressed his support for those running for office, without exempting himself from a future in county politics.

"I have not ruled out anything," Mr. Williams said after his address. "This is a city I've been a member of and I've enjoyed politics in."

He acknowledged rumors that he is considering a run against Mayor Bob Young in 2002, but declined to commit to the race.

"When it comes down to it, it will depend on how I feel next year," Mr. Williams said, adding that his children have left home and are attending college now, which frees up more time for his political career.

Although his history has been in a state office, he said he believes local elected officials are able to make a bigger impact on their communities.

"People are kinda down (in Augusta)," Mr. Williams told the government group. "There seems to be something on their mind - (as if) they've seen better days. It kind of concerns me because this is a community that has made it through tremendous hardship."

He suggested that involvement in upcoming local elections has the potential to spur discussion and rejuvenate the city.

"It's when you stop talking as a community that the community begins to die," he said.

But this year, Mr. Williams said, he intends to concentrate on supporting other local candidates on the campaign trail. He also plans to continue to advance his marketing business, which works with companies that provide products to the public sector.

Since leaving office, Mr. Williams has been following the reapportionment and redistricting process from the outside and said there have been few surprises from the maps that have emerged.

"It pretty much happened the way I expected it would," Mr. Williams said: Districts whose representatives have the least time in office usually are the first to be squeezed out.

"If I'd been elected, (state Rep.) George DeLoach probably would have been eliminated."

Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.