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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Mark Butler

Interviewed by Dr. Mel Steely on August 7th, 2003 (probably at UWG-TV studio).; Mark Butler was born in Carrollton, Georgia on July 21, 1970.He attended local schools before earning a Public Administration degree from Auburn University in 1992.He then went to work as a real estate appraiser in a family owned business, where he remains today. In 2002, running as a Republican, Butler won a seat representing the 18th District in the state legislature.He has established a record as a strong advocate for gun rights, lower taxes, and property rights.He currently sits on a number of powerful committees, including Appropriations and Economic Development.; Butler speaks of his early life in rural Haralson County, Georgia and the time he spent on his grandfather's farm while growing up. He elaborates on the significance of the church community in his social life during his childhood and notes how his parents, among several other families in the community, began their own charter church. He speaks briefly about his education and his degree in Public Administration and his love of his Alma mater, Auburn University. He goes on to speak about his first home and courting his wife. Butler then addresses his political motivations and his early memories of Jimmy Carter and the Reagan Administration, noting how he had been doing impersonations of particular politicians from his youth through his adolescence.He places particular emphasis on the leadership skills he gained from leading his high school band and discusses his early volunteer work with Representative Tracy Stallings' campaign and his subsequent decision to pursue a career in politics and ultimate run against Stallings. He discusses his stance as a conservative, his fundraising and (family-run) campaign techniques and goes into detail as to the issues that arose between him and Stallings, including the Georgia state flag controversy and his alignments with the small business and the medical community.Butler discusses his experiences as a freshman with the House of Representatives and the issues that he found most important: predatory lending, the Georgia Fair Lending Act, taxes, big budget, and term limits. He discusses his representative philosophy, his identification with the conservative right, his struggles with constituent services, racial issues in the rural South, partisan transitions, and he expounds on his opinions on unemployment, small businesses and the state of Georgia politics. He closes with his personal sentiments on what his involvement with politics has done for him and the issues it has introduced him to, such as the need for improvement in the education of hearing impaired children in the state of Georgia.