|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 134 Bill Stephens|
|Creator||Stephens, William Veach (Bill), 1956-|
|Dates||2012 May 2|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Senator Bill Stephens, a Republican from Canton, was elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 51st Senate District. He discusses his work with Gov. Zell Miller, his time in the State Senate, and the state of party politics in Georgia.|
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 134, 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.
Bill Stephens, a Republican from Canton, was elected to the State Senate in 1998 to represent the 51st Senate District. Senator Stephens serves on the Banking and Financial Institutions; Economic Development, Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Insurance and Labor; Reapportionment; and Retirement Committees. Senator Stephens has focused on on education reform, common sense economic development, cutting taxes and spending, and having criminals serve at least 90% of their sentence.
Stephens is a native of Morganton in Fannin County. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia in 1978. He earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University in 1983. He has three sons, Joshua, Jordan, and Conner. He is married to Shannon Walshe Stephens, news anchor at WGNX CBS 46 in Atlanta.
Stephens left office in 2006 and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Secretary of State.
Bill Stephens discusses his early life in Morganton, Georgia. He comments on his political orientation, calling himself a "mountain Republican."
Stephens recalls his work on Lieutenant Governor Miller's gubernatorial campaign. He reflects on working as an aide in Miller's administration, ultimately being promoted to spokesperson and director of communications. Stephens comments on the origin of the educational lottery. He recalls his decision to run for the state senate seat after David Ralston left he position. Stephens discusses his campaign for State Senate and his first year in legislature in 1999.
Stephens comments on being elected chairperson of the Republican Caucus and discusses Sonny Perdue's 2002 election signifying the Republican takeover. He discusses the Democrat party switchers and how they were able to keep their elected positions with the help of the Republican party. Stephens recalls serving as the Republican floor leader in the Senate and Gov. Miller's struggle with changing the state flag.
Stephens recalls his involvement with reapportionment as both the target of gerrymandering and as the creator of whole-county districts. He comments on the partisan nation of apportionment in Georgia. Stephens recalls his efforts in recognizing extraneous expenditures in the state budget. He discusses his experience with passing budgets and serving on the Budget Conference Committee. Stephens explains the Committee of 3 and how it is the State Senate's counterpart to the House's Green Door Committee.
Stephens discusses his 2004 reelection campaign against Bubba McDonald and his proudest accomplishments in anti-drug legislation. He recalls his failed campaign for the office of Secretary of State and subsequent work as the CEO of the Stone Mountain Authority.