Scott Drake, an attorney who has lived in Gwinnett County since 1993, formerly announced on June 12 his bid for Georgia State Senate Dist. 9 against Republican incumbent Don Balfour.
“I can no longer stand silently on the sidelines. Democracy is not a spectator sport and public office is about service, not feathering one’s own special interest nest,’ Drake said.
Drake, who has spent twenty-one years prosecuting and defending clients on cases ranging from murder, drug felonies, D.U.I.s to family violence, said deciding to run for office was born out of his interest in seeing a return of honesty, integrity and ethics to Gwinnett County politics.
“I have a personal and professional interest in seeing that justice prevails. The culture of corruption that exists within Gwinnett County – at all levels – will cease only when we challenge those who would try to bend circumstances in their own favor and for personal gain. Public service means putting constituents first,” said Drake.
Drake said the political system has been corrupted to such an extreme extent that when elected he will initiate and support stronger ethics legislation that will ban all gifts from lobbyists and require both the executive and legislative branches of government to be subject to open records laws.
He said elected officials should be accountable to the constituents in their districts and citizens should know that measures in place will protect the integrity of the political system.
“While I am proud to sign the pledge to support and co-sponsor legislation that would create a $100 gift limit on lobbyists, I don’t believe that goes far enough to curtail the abuses of power we have all seen or read about. The time has come to restore integrity to politics,” Drake said.
Drake said that recent ethics measures debated do little to change the practices now under the Gold Dome and do little to effectively change the rules in order to restore the confidence of voters.
“Legislation that contains too many loopholes will not be effective and will only make lobbyists more creative with the ways they can split a dinner bill or an expensive gift for an elected official. Our government should not be for sale,” Drake said.
Drake is a partner in the Sliz Law Firm. He began his career as a prosecutor for the Augusta Judicial System and in 1993 became an Assistant Solicitor for Gwinnett County. From 1998 – 2000 he served as an Assistance District Attorney for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit and worked as a part-time solicitor for the City Court of Lawrenceville. Drake served as the first defense attorney for the Gwinnett County Drug Court Program.
Drake is a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Gwinnett County Bar Association, He is the former president of the Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Section of the Gwinnett County Bar. For more information, visit www.electscottdrake.com or www.slizlaw.com