Jackson: I vote my conscience, but my values are shared by most in Fayette

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 3:20pm
By: Letters to the ...

My name is Ann Jackson, and I am a candidate in the Republican Primary runoff election for Fayette County probate judge.

Thank you to all of you who voted for and supported me in the July 15 primary election. Our campaign received more votes than either of my two opponents.

I am in a runoff with Jim Whitlock, the candidate who received the second highest number of votes.

I am inspired and humbled that so many people came out to vote for me. Perhaps more importantly, I feel they came out to vote for the professionalism, experience and integrity that I will bring to the office.

For those of you who do not know me personally, let me tell you about myself.

I was born in 1954, the third of four children. As a U.S. Air Force officer, my father was promoted through the ranks and transferred all over the world, with his young family in tow.

The service provided us with a wonderful life, and experiences I can only dream about providing to my own children. We lived in Europe, in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, Washington, D.C., and many places in between.

My mother used to say that we were all serving our country, not just my dad. We practiced patriotism every day of our lives, not just holidays.

I attended many schools growing up, graduating from high school in Plattsburgh, New York and moving to Georgia in 1972 to attend Emory University. In 1980, after attending Mercer Law School, I moved to Atlanta and began a job as a law clerk with then Fulton County Probate Judge Floyd Propst, one of the most respected probate experts within the State of Georgia.

I remain employed with the Fulton County Probate Court today, having served in the positions of staff attorney, senior attorney and now judicial hearing officer. I currently sit on the bench as an appointee of Judge Toomer, the current elected probate judge of Fulton County.

I hear many types of probate cases. I have been exercising the jurisdiction of the judge (that means signing orders and making rulings) on uncontested matters since 1994. The last six years have been in the courtroom deciding contested matters as well.

While holding various positions with the court, I have also always been a sworn court clerk. I have familiarity and experience with all probate court functions, on and off the bench, as well as knowledge of the law and court administration. I understand the perspectives of the customers, the clerks and the judge.

If elected judge, I will be ready and able to go to work immediately, ensuring a smooth transition for the court and the citizens of Fayette County.

My husband of 26 years, Charles Jackson, is an Atlanta area native. Charles retired from the Fulton County Sheriff Department in 2004 and is now employed with the federal government. We moved to Peachtree City from College Park in 1994. We chose Fayette County because it offered a conservative, highly educated and involved community. Our expectations have been met and exceeded.

The gifts in my life are my children, Steve, 25, Katie, 24, and Sarah, 18. All three are Starr’s Mill High School graduates. Katie and Steve have graduated from UGA and Sarah will start there in the fall. Steve and Katie are employed and living in Atlanta and Whittier, North Carolina, respectively. Sarah lives at home with her dad and me.

Our family is close, and my children and spouse have been invaluable during this campaign. Charles and I are blessed to have children who don’t mind helping their parents. We credit the high moral standards and family values that we personally hold and find throughout the Fayette community with helping our precious children become the successful adults they are today.

And now there is an opportunity to give back. I would like to offer my services and experience to the citizens of Fayette County upon the retirement of Judge Martha Stephenson at the end of 2008.

I have never been involved in politics before nor been a member of any political party until I became a member of the Fayette County Republican Party.

While I have voted my conscience on certain issues in past years, my values and beliefs are in line with those of the Republican Party.

Family, limited government, high moral standards; all things that can be accomplished without being judgmental or placing labels that benefit no one and only cause divisiveness.

I come from a family of patriots and public servants. Two of the saddest and proudest days of my life were in 2005 and 2006 when my family inurned my precious father and brother at Arlington National Cemetery, both U.S. Air Force veterans who will remain together forever.

Dad was a caregiver – he took care of everyone, including 28 years caring for my brother who was 100 percent disabled while on military duty.

Like my father, I consider it my calling to take care of people who need help. I consider it my calling to serve the people of Fayette County as probate judge.

I would appreciate your vote and support in the upcoming primary runoff on Aug. 5. I look forward to serving you and our community well. Please remember to vote and remind everyone you know to vote. Thank you.

Ann Jackson

Candidate for Fayette County Probate Judge

Brooks, Ga.

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