December 5, 2012

Bethel picked as a Senate floor leader

From Staff Reports

— A member of the local legislative delegation has been named to a state leadership position.

Gov. Nathan Deal this week named Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, and Rick Jeffares, R-Locust Grove, as new state Senate floor leaders. They join Sen. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, and will serve as liaisons between Deal and the state Senate when lawmakers return Jan. 14, 2013.

“It’s an opportunity to be a part of the governor’s team and help weigh in on policy issues,” Bethel said. “We’ll get an opportunity to be a part of a preview meeting of the budget, and obviously those are good things and a good experience. As a floor leader, people are going to look to you in the chamber for an idea on where the governor is on an issue, even if it’s not an administration issue or an administration bill.”

Bethel, a human resources executive with J&J Industries in Dalton, also serves on the judiciary, special judiciary, insurance and labor, retirement, and reapportionment and redistricting committees. Prior to his service in the Senate, Bethel was elected twice to the Dalton City Council.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and a juris doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Lynsey, have three children and reside in Dalton.

“It’s certainly an honor,” Bethel said. “There are a lot of great folks in the Senate. He (Deal) had lots of people interested and could have had his pick. I’m proud to be chosen.”