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Posted: Friday, June 29th 2012 at 11:25am

Elections 2012: Jody Cooley

By Ken Stanford Staff
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NAME:  Jody Cooley



1)  Why are you running for this office?
I love Northeast Georgia and its people. I’m very discouraged by the current political climate.  I was not satisfied with just complaining.  It’s an open seat based largely in my home county, so here I am.

2) Is this the first time you have run for political office? If "no," please explain.
No, I ran for a seat on the Gainesville City School Board in a 1996 ward race. I was elected and served one four-year term.

3) What qualifications for the office do you bring to the campaign?
I have practiced business law in Northeast Georgia for twenty-six years.  I have a real interest in education and young people.  My wife is a public school teacher.  I have experience in bringing people together to solve problems.  I have a willing spirit, a curious and open mind, and a bunch of hope!

4) What do you see as the biggest concern/issue facing the 9th District?
All of us, starting with and especially me, need to love our neighbor more, and we need to expand our definition of neighbor.  That’s not just “preacher talk,” and it is not exclusive to any particular faith.  Our country has grown increasingly divided, and it is seriously damaging our union and restricting our future progress.  

Many Americans have lost faith in our elected leadership.  A different and more selfless perspective – grounded in a focus on the common good – would have huge implications on public policy, from fostering a more respectful and cooperative approach to public issues, to solving everything from the budget crisis to healthcare, and to how we see the proper role of government.  We Americans are a diverse people – in backgrounds, skin colors, economic situations, and political opinions.  We must return to a government that works for its people.  
5)  What do you see as the biggest concern/issue facing the 9th District?
In addition to the troubling political climate, we face great challenges over how and when the economy will rebound, the need for immigration reform, the widening gap in wealth and incomes, and how to be sure that our people are educated to compete in a global 21st century economy.

 6)  What more do you think the federal government should do to end the dispute over water involving Georgia, Alabama, and Florida? (EDITOR'S NOTE: This question was asked and it was answered before the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the dispute)

The best we can hope for from the federal government to end the Water Wars is to help lead the states back into a Compact Commission, where there is a forum to resolve issues outside of litigation and the courts. That failing, Georgia should seek the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve, with finality and under a Special Master, the water allocation dispute among the states.  We must go on the offense and the federal issues in play demand federal leadership.

7) How far would you be willing to go in putting politics aside and compromising for the good of the country with the opposition party?

Compromise is not a dirty word.  It is a necessary part of effective leadership. I would certainly take the first large step forward and encourage others to come along. Effective compromise requires both parties to keep moving toward each other.
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