ROSWELL, Ga. – Mayor Jere Wood did not waste much time considering his next political move. Roswell’s outgoing mayor has declared his candidacy for Georgia House Seat 48 in 2018, a seat currently held by his political antagonist Elizabeth “Betty” Price.
Wood and Price were often at odds when she served with Wood on the City Council. More recently, she was cited by Wood as the main stumbling block to getting a charter change passed in the General Assembly which would have allowed him another term as mayor.
Price said at the time she was not the only nay vote on the charter change, but Wood held her responsible for defeating the measure.
Wood said he was not running to spite Price.
“When you are in office and you do things for personal reasons, you are making a mistake. If reasons for retribution, vindictiveness or revenge come into it, you are making a mistake,” Wood said.
“That should not come into play in your decision-making. That is not what office is for. Running for office out of vindictiveness is just not who I am,” he said.
Wood said he is running because he thinks he can make a contribution to this city.
“Public service gives me a great sense of satisfaction and joy,” he said. “I think I can do some good things for my community. That’s why I stuck around for 20 years.”
One does feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction doing something for the community, he said.
“I still have a lot to offer for my community and I think I am the best person for that job.”
Wood said what makes him the best candidate is his knowledge of the district’s needs and the contacts he has made over the last two decades as mayor, coupled with his ability to work with people.
Wood was asked if he thought the problems of Price’s husband, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, will be an issue in the campaign. Price resigned his post in the Trump Administration after it was publicized that he took numerous private charter flights for routine matters rather than booking commercial fare.
“I think that will hurt her, yes. Betty was on several of those flights that he took,” Wood said. “I think some of her recent comments will hurt her.”
Wood said the “quarantine” comment was a good example. Price had said it might be a good idea to quarantine HIV-positive patients who did not follow prescribed practices to ensure the disease doesn’t spread.
Price at the time said she only suggested the idea to illustrate the seriousness of the situation and the frustration that no health care agency had come up with solid ideas to combat the spread of the virus. She said she did not actually support any kind of quarantine of patients.
“That’s not a good image for Roswell,” Wood said. “And I don’t see that she has been an effective representative in the General Assembly.”
Asked what his specific goals are, Wood said No. 1 is to help Roswell.
“But the biggest issue for all of North Fulton is how do we improve our transportation,” Wood said. “That’s driving a lot of issues.
“[State Sen.] Brandon Beach has spoken about the need for 21st century infrastructure to bring high-tech companies in.”
That is also on state Sen. John Albers list, Wood said.
“We need help from the state on infrastructure, whether its transportation or high tech or water. I think there is a role for the state to play in the opioid crisis.
“Roswell has a right to ask a lot from the state because Roswell pays a lot of taxes. We need representation down at the state to secure that help.
“I think we have a strong delegation at the capitol with one exception.
“If I thought Betty Price was doing a good job down there I would not be in this election.”