Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams got involved in government five years ago when he was elected to the chamber in the 2014 election, beating the incumbent Jack Murphy with a 66 percent victory.
“It wasn’t until I got fed up with the ineptness of government that I was drawn to get involved in government,” Williams said. “I’m not a polished politician. People find that very refreshing that this guy is who he is.”
In his time as a Georgia senator, he’s learned how the government works, which he said will help in his transition to governor if elected.
“People talk about lawmaking is like making a sausage,” Williams said. “It’s dirty and nasty, and you don’t really want to see it.”
He wants to make government more transparent, which is one of his top priorities if elected. Along these lines, he wants to pass term limits for all state elected officials and emphasize the governor’s ability to veto in order to halt liberal legislation.
On his campaign website, he boasts that he has funded most of his campaign with assistance from small-dollar donors, a strategy which he said will free him to enact conservative legislation without being tied to big-dollar donors or lobbyists.
"It wasn’t until I got fed up with the ineptness of government that I was drawn to get involved in government."
-Michael Williams, Republican candidate
He plans to pass “basic conservative legislation,” such as tax reform, school choice legislation, constitutional carry and spending cuts.
Prior to his government experience, Williams owned 18 barber shops, during which time he faced tax issues with the IRS, issues he would want to eliminate by cutting out state income tax and implementing something similar to Florida’s tax system.
“I am a very resilient and focused individual. There’s been many, many challenges in my life,” Williams said.
One of Williams’ challenges was losing his father and Vietnam veteran to suicide when he was 14 years old.
Because of this, he supports legalizing cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana in Georgia in order to help those battling conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As for other platform points, he follows traditionally social-conservative ideals. He supports the religious freedom legislation, the pro-life “heartbeat bill” and a statewide deportation program.
“Again, I know who I am and I’m going to fight for those values come hell or high water,” Williams said.
As for education, he wants to freeze college tuition rates so more people can afford higher education. He also wants to improve access of public school resources to home-schooled children and allow for school voucher programs to give parents options of where to send their children if the public school system in their community is not performing well.
Williams graduated from the University of Montevallo in Alabama and currently lives north of Atlanta with his wife and four children.
Williams was the first Georgia elected official to publicly endorse Donald Trump in 2015, for which he remembers receiving backlash.
“We got picked on and ragged, and there was a lot of criticism,” Williams said. “I just smile. I know what I’m doing. I know what my values and priorities are.”