Bowden Eager to Lead in State Senate
Travis Bowden, a Parkview High graduate and longtime Snellville resident, is campaigning to replace state Sen. Don Balfour.
Travis Bowden wants to send Sen. Don Balfour into retirement, and he's betting that his eagerness for the job helps him do just that.
The 30-year-old Snellville business consultant has never been elected to political office before, but he's long been active in the Gwinnett County Republican Party, including serving as chairman of Gwinnett Young Republicans. Balfour, on the other hand, was first elected to the Georgia Senate in 1992.
No matter the difference in experience, Bowden believes he is what local citizens need in District 9. Should he be elected, Bowden expects his political know-how and energy to enable a smooth transition.
“I feel like I understand the issues facing the district,” he said, “and I feel like I can go in and be active and involved from day one.”
On employment, Bowden wants Georgia to be more of a leader in the region and cut red tape to success. Recruiting more industries and deregulating small businesses are two ways he hopes to do that.
In addition, one of the most important things to him is bringing jobs back to southeast Gwinnett County – U.S. Highway 78 in particular. He also wants to work toward cutting taxes and reducing the size of government.
“I don't think he'll be distracted by the lobbyists,” said Joe Anderson, a former Snellville city council member. “He would be an independent voice for his constituents, which would be a breath of fresh air."
In 2010, both Anderson and Bowden campaigned against Balfour. Two years later, the senator is plagued by financial ethics questions -- concerns that promoted Bowden to call for his removal as chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
“There are laws that a rules chairman should follow,” Bowden said. “He never formed a committee to oversee expenses but chose to do it himself. I feel the leaders in the Senate need to get together to assess this.”
Waiting until after the election is over to address the problem is not acceptable, according to Bowden.
That lean toward proactivity is why Jackie Ginn likes him. He knows the issues affecting Snellville and Gwinnett County, and he takes the time to thoroughly research items, said Ginn, a Snellville planning commissioner.
"He gets to the bottom of things," she said, "and comes out with truth."
Besides that, Ginn said Bowden has a deep sense of caring for the people he hopes to serve. She believes his energy and passion set him apart from the other three candidates: Balfour, Steve Ramey of Lilburn and Scott Drake of Lawrenceville.
Bowden worked with Ginn when she ran for city council and did everything from going door-to-door to hanging flyers late into the night.
“He's a very hard worker,” Ginn said, “and really believes in what he's doing. He gets out there and works toward the things that need to get done."
More than a thousand doors into his own campaign with half of the work week dedicated to unseating the incumbent, Bowden certainly wants to be senator.
Now, he just needs voters to see it that way, too.
Other Bowden Information:
- He is a Snellville small businessman with a background in insurance and auditing. His political history comes in the form of activism and involvement in the Gwinnett Republican Party.
- He has served as the Gwinnett County Republican Party Secretary and the Republican Liberty Caucus' regional director for 13 states.
- He is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he majored in political science.
- He has worked for numerous candidates, including Melvin Everson, for whom he worked as a district employee in 2009.
- His years of experience have given him a strong support base, including the endorsement of Georgia Right to Life.
(Editor's Note: Sen. Don Balfour also has been contacted by Snellville Patch, but there has been no response from his office.)