If last month’s national election results spooked Republicans about a gender gap, the Georgia Senate’s lone female GOP member is willing to accept a more visible role as head of the powerful Rules Committee.
Senate Health Committee Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, is lobbying for her chance. In a two-page letter to the leadership obtained by Morris News Service she lists her loyalty, competency and social skills. She also notes that Republicans could benefit by putting more women in leadership roles.
“Elected officials can speak all they want about equality and being ‘for’ women’s issues, but when one has the power to elevate a woman thru the glass ceiling, it is much more resonate and remarkable on their own personal record to have that courage to make history,” she wrote.
Since there are no other Republican women in the Senate — not even in any of the special elections, it would be another 10 years before another woman gained the seniority Unterman has.
In the Senate, she’s focused on issues that may be important to women, such as elder abuse and child prostitution. Today (THURSDAY), she is holding a press conference to announce legislation dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but it’s likely the political reporters there will ask her as many questions about the Rules Committee.
Renee Unterman, another powerful senator from the Gwinnett delegation, said she was honored to nominate and second Shafer for the position [of President Pro Tem], during a meeting at Little Ocmulgee State Park. She had 19 proxies from the Reform Caucus to support her colleague.
“Our Reform Caucus is committed to uniting fellow senators with the lieutenant governor restoring order, transparency, and ethics to the Georgia State Senate,” she said of the group.
The appointment is a coup for the county, she said.
“Gwinnett’s prominence continues to rise with the state’s legislative leadership, as our delegation leads both in the Senate and the House,” she said. “Sen. Shafer is a shinning example of our talent in Gwinnett County.”