Gubernatorial candidate Hunter Hill wants to bring lessons he learned while serving overseas to the state government.
Hill, who has represented District 6 in the Georgia Senate, which contains parts of Cobb and Fulton counties, since 2012, announced in April he would be throwing his name in the 2018 governor’s race to replace the term-limited incumbent, Gov. Nathan Deal.
“I’ve really championed conservative reforms in many areas. Some of them I have been successful at getting them passed, and many of the major ones I have not because the status quo still rules under the Gold Dome, and that is what I’m running for governor against.”
Hill told the Forsyth County News this week he wants to apply lessons learned in three combat tours overseas with the Army, two with the 101st Airborne Division and another in Afghanistan, as governor.
“I really experienced the disconnect between how the government uses its resources,” he said. “I was an airborne ranger trained to close width and destroy the enemy, yet I was used in a nation building capacity to win the hearts and the minds of the Afghans – not the highest and best use of the Army.”
He said the experience made him realize the government spent too much on “low-return activities.”
“I’m running for governor because after being in the Senate for five years I’ve found that even under Republican leadership we’re spending billions of dollars on low-return activities, things that are not constitutionally mandated,” Hill said. “It forces to underinvest in the core competencies of government because we’re trying to be a jack of all trades and master of none.”
After being elected in 2012, he ran unopposed for re-election in 2014 and defeated Democratic challenger Jaha Howard last year.
Hill said in his time in the state Senate he has taken on several conservative reforms.
“I’ve been championing choices and options in education for the last three years with education savings accounts. That has not passed because that’s a major education reform,” he said. “I’ve been championing the elimination and reduction of the state income tax for many years.
“I have gotten passed a small business bill, we called it, to reduce regulations on small business breweries in the state, and that did pass. That was a big fight.”
There is already a crowded Republican field for the governor seat, as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and District 27 state Sen. Michael Williams, who represents the majority of Forsyth County, all declared to run.
Hill said his conservative principles set him apart from other candidates.
“I have a very conservative governing philosophy. I believe in our Founding Fathers principles’ of limited government, and I have legislated that way. I have led that way. That is how I speak on the campaign trail,” he said. “For too long, Republicans have said the right things on the campaign trail and never implemented into the government.”
Hill resides in Smyrna with his wife, Shannan Reese Hill, and two children and is president of Tommy Newberry Coaching.