Jason Announces for State House 176


Valdosta Daily Times, Jessica Pope Staff Writer

Jason Shaw, 37, announced on Friday his plans to run for his father’s House District 176 seat.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a new challenge, and I hope and pray that it works out. My dad believes I am good and ready. I’m honored to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Jay Shaw was elected by the General Assembly to govern the 1st Congressional District of the State Transportation Board.

The Lakeland-based Democrat said he was “really excited and looking forward to serving” Georgia’s citizens through its Department of Transportation.

Jay Shaw will step down from his House District 176 seat when he assumes the Georgia Department of Transportation position on April 15, succeeding Roy Herrington of Baxley, who was elected to his first term on the State Transportation Board back in 2005. He noted that he will finish out the 2009-2010 General Assembly session. However, after he has been officially sworn in to serve on the State Transportation Board, his seat will be up for grabs.

Jay Shaw, according to his legislative biography, was first elected in 1994 to the Georgia House of Representatives.

His son, Jason Shaw, hopes to carry on his nearly 17-year legacy.

“My dad has always tried to do what’s right,” he said. “He has always tried to do what’s best for the citizens of Georgia, whether they are Democrats or Republicans. I hope to continue that tradition.”

Jason Shaw is owner of Shaw Insurance Services Inc. of Lakeland and a partner in Morris and Shaw Insurance Agency Inc. of Nashville. He said that he approached his father in 2003 and made an offer to purchase the insurance side of The Jay Shaw Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia. His favorite class was one in Southern politics.

“I guess you can say that I’ve been interested in Georgia politics since college,” he said.

“I’ve watched my dad grow politically for more than 30 years,” he added. “The political landscape has changed so much during that time. I think that — more than ever before — Georgia needs to take a common sense approach to government. We are facing bigger challenges than we have had to deal with in a long time. We need to put aside partisan politics and work together.”

When it comes to operating his businesses, Jason Shaw referred to himself as a conservative person. He noted that it takes work to balance doing more with less and still keeping the people happy.

“We have lots of really good people serving in the General Assembly,” he said. “Of course, there are a few bad apples, too. But that’s true of most things. I really look forward to having the chance to serve with our area delegation. It would be an honor to work with each of them and continue doing good things for the people of Georgia.”

Jason Shaw is a graduate of the Leadership Lanier Class of 2003 and the Leadership Georgia Class of 2004. He graduated in 2000 from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership. He is a past president of both the Lanier County Lions Club and Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce, and he now serves as finance chair and trustee for Lakeland’s Unity United Methodist Church, trustee for the Valdosta Technical College Foundation, director of the Greater Valdosta United Way, and director of the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Georgia, Southern Financial Systems ( a division of FMB Bancshares Inc.), the Georgia Olive Growers Association and South Regional Joint Development Authority. He enjoys spending time with wife Katy Miller Shaw and daughter Anne Harvey Shaw, 1, as well as playing a little golf and hunting.

“I’ve talked about (running for the House District 176 seat) with my family and coworkers, and they are very supportive of my decision,” he added. “I know that my coworkers will allow me to do what I need to do to be accessible to the citizens and to make a living at the same time. The timing is right for me to do this. I couldn’t be more excited. I am ready.”

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