TIFTON, Ga. -- Four-year incumbent state Senator John D. Crosby has announced his plans to seek a third term in office, seeking re-election to the newly redrawn 13th senatorial district that includes Tift, Turner, Worth, Lee, Crisp, Dooley and Dodge counties, as well as most of Wilcox County and part of Sumter.
Crosby, who served as a senior judge in various courts and as judge in Tift County State Court and Superior Court for the Tifton Judicial Circuit, was elected to the state Senate in 2008, besting a field of five candidates. He was re-elected without opposition in 2010.
"I've made a lot of friends and developed a lot of important relationships during my four years in the Senate," Crosby said. "That's very important when it comes to working together (with other elected officials) for matters that are important to our region.
"People talk about Democrat vs. Republican, but a lot of times in Georgia you find the battles are more rural vs. urban. There are some who vote strictly down party lines, but I think many of the major issues in our state involve the needs of rural citizens and the needs of metro Atlanta."
Crosby currently serves on the Appropriations, Banking and Finance, Judiciary and Ethics committees in the Senate. He is secretary of the Judicial Committee and chairman of the Ethics Committee. He also serves as an appointee by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on the Special Council for Criminal Justice Reform.
"That is very important to the future of the state's prison system," Crosby said of the appointment. "We have a prison population of more than 56,000, and that doesn't include prisoners in county jails. Housing them takes more than $1 billion from a budget of $18 billion.
"Our prison population doubled in the last two decades, and projections are that we will soon be spending one and a quarter billion dollars on our prisons. We've started a lot of good changes that we hope will save the taxpayers on the cost of our prison system. Some of the reforms we're looking at were tried in Texas, and they're saving money now."
Prior to his run for state office, Crosby was involved in local politics as a Tifton City Commissioner. He and his wife, Rose, have two children and four grandchildren.
"When I look at running for re-election, I have to weigh my family responsibilities against my public responsibilities," Crosby said. "I try to spend as much time as I can with my four grandchildren, and I miss time with them during the legislative session.
"But I feel that I have developed relationships that give me an opportunity to do things that are good for our area, for all of South Georgia. I've come to see how important it is to work together rather than stand alone."
Crosby said he hopes to continue "fine-tuning" tax reform legislation in Atlanta, mentioning the reinstatement of sales tax on groceries as a revenue possibility that "affects everyone equally." He said prison reform and water issues remain vital to the region.
"We've made a lot of progress in the last few years, but we have a lot more work to do," Crosby said.