Local attorney Bill Johnston has announced his decision to seek election to the District 16 seat in the Georgia State Senate being vacated by Sen. Ronnie Chance who is stepping down.Johnston’s press releases follows:I, William ‘Bill’ Johnston, a local attorney and native of the area hereby formally announce my candidacy for the 16th Senatorial District of Georgia.First, I believe it is imperative that I along with all other citizens of the 16th Senatorial District thank Senator Ronnie Chance for ten years of superior service to the citizens of Georgia and the 16th District. Ronnie Chance performed a great job at representing all of the interests of this culturally diverse senatorial district. I will continue on a path of conservative advocacy and representation for all of the citizens of the four counties, Pike, Lamar, Spalding, and Fayette.My political platform is based on the needs and issues raised by the local taxpayers and is not based on any personal agenda. Remember that as a lawyer, I have been educated and trained with 24 years of experience in representing the interests and concerns of others. Advocacy is my profession, and I will utilize these skills in representing the citizens of the 16th district. Parents of our school age children desire and deserve more safety initiatives for their children on school buses. Children are America’s most precious cargo and should be protected with seatbelts or safety bars, and school systems should be required to provide annual health screenings at least equal to required screenings for truck drivers carrying cargo. The public desires and deserves accountability for their state tax dollars. I question whether the 16th district is receiving the benefit of all of the taxes sent to Atlanta or are the metropolitan counties taking the lion’s share. Finally, the citizens of three counties in our district continue to suffer extraordinary economic hardship and astronomical heights of unemployment. I pledge to open communications with corporate America in attempts to generate business and industrial interest in the district. I further pledge to continue funding for programs at our most prized resources, our educational institutions including our public schools along with the University of Georgia at Griffin, Southern Crescent Technical College, and Gordon State College. I attended the University of Georgia and obtained a B.S. in Microbiology and a law degree. I currently practice business, corporate and estate litigation as a partner in the Griffin law firm of Johnston, Owen & Bullard. My wife, Dixie, and I have been married for 25 years and have two children, Sam, a student at Georgia State University, and Emma, a Senior at Spalding High School. I am a member of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce, the Daybreak Rotary Club, the National Rifle Association, and the First United Methodist Church of Griffin wherein I serve as the chairman of the finance committee.I will be truly and humbly honored to have an opportunity to serve the four counties as your next state senator. Vote for Bill Johnston, your Republican state senator.