It has been some months since I chose to interview a public official. However, interview columns are probably my favorite pieces of writing. Since turkey season and an April full of jury trial weeks is in full swing, I chose to speak with a close friend who is easily approachable, a fellow Pathfinders Bible study member, and always willing to take a telephone call. This man is our state Senator Michael Dugan.
Senator Dugan represents a large part of the west Georgia community that includes Carroll, Douglas, and Paulding counties. His 173,000 constituents compose the heart of this beloved area of west Georgia.
Well, I wanted to know how and why Mike wanted to follow the path of public service. It all started after he graduated from Bowdon High School in 1981. His desire to serve our country led him to enlist in the United States Army at the rank of private. His military career, which lasted for 20 years, led him into the ranks of one of the most decorated and respectable areas of the Army, the United States Rangers. As a Ranger, Mike excelled, directed young men as a platoon leader, and protected our country.
There was a break from Mike’s military service. In addition to serving our country, he also graduated from the University of West Georgia with a History degree and a Master’s degree in Organizational Development.
Fast forward to 2008. When Mike finally retired from military service, he chose to pursue a career working in the private sector. He retired from the Army on a Friday and began working for Ra-Lin in Carrollton Monday morning.
One of the first projects that Mike was asked to lead was the completion of the University of West Georgia Football Stadium. Mike’s father, David Dugan, served the University as Athletic Director a few years back. So, this was a special project for Mike to work on. Additionally, Mike’s son, Beau, was a young day laborer at the time the stadium was finished. Mike is proud to say that today, his son plays football for the Wolves in the same stadium that they both helped to finish.
Mike Dugan still works for Ra-Lin in the Private Business Development Division. However, a call to serve his community again came when then Senator Bill Hamrick was appointed by Governor Deal to serve as a superior court judge in the Coweta Judicial Circuit.
Mike chose to seek the vacant Senate seat. He ran a clean, integrity filled campaign that resulted in him replacing Hamrick as a State Senator. Since his election, Senator Dugan has represented the people of west Georgia with honor, a sense of true service, and with humility.
When I asked Senator Dugan what was his most fulfilling aspect of legislative service was, he simply and plainly said, “helping people.” I personally know this to be true.
Mike has been involved in many important and conservative issues while serving in the Senate. One of the bills that he sponsored this legislative session dealt with assisting Georgians who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epileptic seizures, and autism. This issue is particularly important to me because I have a son who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism. (1 out of 54 boys in Georgia have some form of autism).
I am very proud to have a conservative Christian serving my community in the Senate and sharing our spiritual needs at Pathfinders on Friday morning. You will not find a more friendly, genuine, and humble public servant than Senator Michael Dugan. He and his wife Missy are what my grandfather called “just good folks.”
Senator Dugan and the rest of the west Georgia delegation have and will continue to provide top quality representation in Atlanta for years to come.