By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State Senate District 50 preview: Bo Hatchett hopes to focus on education, agriculture
02182020 HATCHETT 1.jpg
Bo Hatchett

For Republican Bo Hatchett, the 2018 election was a turning point in his decision to run for Georgia Senate District 50. 

“Stacey Abrams almost beat Gov. (Brian) Kemp a couple years ago in the governor’s race. My eyes were opened to the shift in Georgia,” Hatchett, a Habersham County native, said. “I decided to run to stand up for our Constitution, stand up for our conservative principles and fight this wave of socialism that’s coming out of Atlanta.” 

The district includes part of East Hall and part or all of Towns, Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Franklin, Banks and Jackson counties. Incumbent State Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, decided not to run for reelection to seek the seat for Georgia’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Hatchett grew up in Demorest, then graduated from Habersham Central High School, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia School of Law. He is an attorney at a firm in Cornelia. 

Hatchett will face Democrat Dee Daley in November. He first ran in the June primary, then against fellow Republican Stacy Hall in an August runoff. That close runoff then went to a recount, which ended with Hatchett 38 votes ahead of Hall. 

Bo Hatchett 

Hatchett said if elected, he would promote the budget priorities of education, public safety and agriculture in the Georgia Senate. Fully funding the state’s Quality Basic Education formula, which funds public schools, would be another priority, he said. He said continuing to take a conservative approach to the state budget can help Georgia recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. 

“I’m a supporter of zero-based budgeting and making sure that every dollar is accounted for,” he said.  

Hatchett said during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Georgia has been a leader in the country when we reopened when we did.” 

“The state’s job would be to provide information, but at the end of the day, it comes down to personal responsibility, and we have to look out for ourselves and each other,” he said. 

In addition to the pandemic, the country has also seen demonstrations and conversations on racial inequality and police violence following the killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans who were killed in encounters with police. Hatchett said he is grateful for the interactions he has had with law enforcement in Northeast Georgia “who put their lives on the line every day.” 

 On the issues

Health care 

“I support President (Donald) Trump’s health care agenda with making health insurance more competitive,” Hatchett said. “I look forward to trying to implement his policies on the state level.” 

Budget, economy 

He said he hopes to take a conservative approach to the state budget in the legislature. “I’m a supporter of zero-based budgeting and making sure that every dollar is accounted for,” he said.  

COVID-19 response 

He said Georgia was “a leader in the country” in reopening. “The state’s job would be to provide information, but at the end of the day, it comes down to personal responsibility, and we have to look out for ourselves and each other,” he said. 

Law enforcement issues, reforms 

“Obviously, there are bad apples in every profession, and one of the things I would like to do is just make sure that we can take care of the good officers that we have and identify the ones that don’t follow their training,” Hatchett said.  

“Obviously, there are bad apples in every profession, and one of the things I would like to do is just make sure that we can take care of the good officers that we have and identify the ones that don’t follow their training,” Hatchett said.  

Hatchett said he also wants to continue Wilkinson’s work in supporting agriculture, which is a prominent industry in District 50. The district also includes several technical schools and colleges he hopes to support, he said.  

“It’s been a very rewarding experience getting to meet as many people as I have, and I’m just excited to serve all the people in Senate District 50 and one of the biggest things we have to do is get out to vote,” Hatchett said.  

Regional events