By Valerie Baldowski
A Henry County legislator nearing the end of his term in office has been honored for his stand on key bills introduced at the State Capitol.
Rep. John Lunsford (R-McDonough) has been given the Chris McGill Public Servant award. He received the accolade in June from Henry County Solicitor General Chuck Spahos, co-chairman of the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General (GASG), and Brian Fortner, GASG president.
Also receiving the honor was State Rep. Kevin Levitas (D-Atlanta).
The award, named for a fallen Gwinnett County police officer, is given to members of the Georgia General Assembly who go "above and beyond in their efforts to support legislation which assists Georgia's public servants," said State House of Representatives communication officials.
"It was actually very nice, they made a big deal out of it," said Lunsford. "Receiving the Chris McGill Public Servant award from the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General was an amazing honor. I am incredibly happy to know that my efforts in the Georgia House of Representatives have made a noticeable difference for our public servants."
He and Levitas were presented the award on the steps of the Capitol, surrounded by law enforcement officials from the Georgia State Patrol, and solicitors, and attorneys general from around the state.
The award was presented to lawmakers based on their votes on key legislation over an extended period of time, Lunsford said. "What they do is view your entire voting record, and your legislative record."
The representative from McDonough has been a strong supporter of GASC, said Spahos. "Representative Lunsford has been a dependable advocate for the Georgia Association of Solicitors-General for years," Spahos said, in a press release. "He was a formidable member of the Non-Civil Judiciary Committee, and his common sense analysis of complex issues will be missed."
Spahos cited Lunsford's support of legislation dealing with driving under the influence, in 2007, and his support of legislation dealing with driving with a suspended driver's license, in 2009, as reasons for the recognition.
In May, Lunsford announced that he would not seek re-election to his House seat, because of a need to spend more time with his family. His current term will end in January 2011.