Local News

December 28, 2013

Candidate profiles: House District 2: Florence

Neal Florence believes his 34 years as a business owner and 23 years as LaFayette’s mayor will help him make the right decisions while setting the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 if he’s elected to the state House of Representatives.

Florence faces Steve Tarvin and Doug Woodruff in a special election on Tuesday, Jan. 7, to fill the unexpired term of Jay Neal for House District 2. The district includes Tunnel Hill, Trichum and Westside in Whitfield County and parts of Catoosa and Walker counties. Neal stepped down after being named executive director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry. The term expires at the end of 2014.

“I’m running because the opportunity has been made available because I’m not re-running for mayor,” Florence said. “My term ends (Dec. 31) and I feel like I can use my experience to help this area. I think with my business experience I can go down there and at least attempt to help with the budget process. We want to avoid spending that might be somewhat wasteful. I don’t want to waste taxpayers’ dollars.”

Florence is concerned there is too much spending in other areas, leaving education underfunded. He said educators have told him they are being given mandates but funding isn’t being provided.

“I want to make sure education is funded and spending is held to a minimum to be able to account for everything we might need, but not allow an excess,” he said, adding he doesn’t know yet any areas where spending could be cut.

Florence said if school systems receive more funding, educators will not have to take furlough days any longer. He said he is concerned with where the money is being spent if it’s not being spent on education.

During the last legislative session lawmakers passed a bill capping gifts from lobbyists at $75 per gift. With a federal grand jury looking into ethics complaints involving Gov. Nathan Deal, ethics is a topic of concern for many Georgians.

“I’ve always held myself to a high ethical standard,” Florence said. “My professional degree depends on me being honest and sincere and accurate with what I do. I have no problem doing that with the legislative thing.”

He said he doesn’t know what the appropriate cap for gifts received from lobbyists should be, but he believes there should definitely be a limit.

Florence, a native of Trion, graduated from The McCallie School in Chattanooga in 1969. He received a degree in chemistry from the University of Georgia and completed pharmacy school there in 1976. He owns Medi-Thrift in LaFayette.


Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014