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Governor Perdue Announces New Administration Floor Leaders

Monday, August 4, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today three new administration floor leaders. New to the Governor's leadership team in the State Senate are State Senator David Shafer (District 48) and State Senator Preston Smith (District 52). Both will serve as Assistant Administration Floor Leaders. In the Georgia House of Representatives, State Representative Mark Burkhalter (District 42) will serve as Assistant Administration Floor Leader.

Shafer and Smith join State Senator Dan Lee (District 29) who serves as the Administration Floor Leader in the State Senate. Burkhalter joins Representative Glenn Richardson (District 26) who serves as the Administration Floor Leader in the State House with State Representative Larry O'Neal (District 117) who serves as Assistant Administration Floor Leader. State Senator Bill Stephens, formerly the Governor's Senate Administration Floor Leader, was elected the new Senate Majority Leader.

"I am pleased to announce the addition of these floor leaders to my team," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Faced with tough budget restraints, Georgia needs elected representatives of vision and determination leading them in the legislature. I am confident that this team will help my Administration advance an agenda for all Georgians."

Brief Biographies of the newly appointed administration floor leaders are provided below:

Senator David J. Shafer, Duluth, GA, District 48 - Shafer is in his second term as a member of the State Senate. He is the Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, Vice Chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee, Secretary of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, Secretary of the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, and a member of the Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee. Shafer is also a member of the World Congress Center Overview Committee and president of a Duluth based corporate public relations firm. Shafer and his wife, Lee, have two children and attend Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church.

Senator Preston W. Smith, Rome, GA, District 52 - Smith is Vice Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Secretary of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and a member of the Senate Children and Youth Committee, the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee. He was first elected to the Georgia Senate in 2002. Smith holds an undergraduate degree from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Smith is active in numerous community activities including serving on the board of directors of Summit Ministries, a Christian youth leadership training institute. He currently works as an attorney with the Rome law firm of Smith, Shaw, and Maddox. Smith and his wife, Michelle, have four children.

Representative Mark Burkhalter, Alpharetta, GA, District 42 - Burkhalter was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1992 and is a member of the Economic Development and Tourism, Public Utilities, and Rules Committees. He received a Bachelors Degree in Global Studies (Political Science) and a Minor in Slavic Languages at the University of Georgia. Burkhalter is active in the Warsaw/Ocee Community Arts Center, the American-Swiss Center, and is also the recipient of the Friend of Public Education Award given by Fulton County Schools. Burkhalter and wife, Gina, have three children, Natalie, Sam, and Olivia.