|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 058 David Poythress|
|Creator||Poythress, David, 1943-|
|Dates||2008 December 8|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||David Poythress began his career in the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate general and became assistant attorney general in 1971. Since then, Poythress has served in a variety of elected and appointed positions, including as secretary of state, state labor commissioner, and adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard. In this interview, Poythress discusses his early life and education, his investigation into nursing home revenue and Medicaid, his time as secretary of state for Georgia, his campaign for governor in 1998, and his experiences with the Georgia Department of Defense and the Georgia National Guard.|
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 058, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641..
Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
David Poythress was born in Macon, Georgia, on October 24, 1943. He received both his undergraduate degree in political science and his law degree from Emory University. He spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate officer. Returning to Georgia, he became assistant attorney general in 1971-1972. Jimmy Carter appointed him as deputy commissioner of Revenue in 1972. Under Governor George Busbee, he chaired a committee to study nursing home reimbursement of Medicaid. In 1979, Secretary of State Ben Fortson passed away, and Poythress replaced him in the position he held until 1983. In 1992, he ran a successful campaign for state labor commissioner. He served until 1998, when he made an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia governor. In that same year, he retired from the Air Force Reserves as a brigadier general. Governor Roy Barnes appointed him adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, and he was later reappointed under Sonny Perdue. In 2007, he retired as a lieutenant general. In 2008, he announced his second campaign to run as a Democratic candidate for governor in the 2010 election, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
Poythress discusses his childhood in Macon, Georgia, his education at Emory, and service in Vietnam.
Poythress recalls when Attorney General Arthur Bolton offered Pothress a job at the law department, his subsequent work as the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, and his investigation into nursing home revenue and Medicaid. He recalls the consolidation of all health services into the Department of Human Resources.
Poythress discusses his work as Secretary of State, updating antiquated licensing systems and election law. Poythress comments on the frequency of runoffs in general elections and discusses the merits of various voting systems. He discusses running against Al Scott for State Labor Commissioner. He talks about his time as State Labor Commissioner, commenting on the unemployment compensation system and employment and vocational training activity.
Poythress comments on his 1998 campaign for governor. He discusses financial aspects of the campaign. Upon his defeat, Poythress recalls being appointed Adjutant General by Barnes. Poythress discusses the Georgia Department of Defense and the Georgia National Guard. He discusses being the commander during two important missions: the Georgia National Guard's response to Hurricane Katrina and the G8 Summit on Sea Island.
Poythress comments on his 2010 gubernatorial race (which had not yet been completed at the time of this interview) and party politics in Georgia. He also mentions Jimmy Carter, Denmark Groover, George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller, Roy Barnes, and Sonny Perdue.