Friday, February 25, 2011
Her Passionate Mission
Carol Porter has a passion for her missions. And, her missions are her passion. That mission is to make sure every Georgia child is educated, every waterway is clean and full, every road is safe and efficient, and every person who wants a job can have a job. Carol wants to put the people back in charge of their government. She has other missions, ones she hasn’t completed yet. They are spreading the word of her faith in her actions and as a Sunday school teacher and most important of all, raising her four sons and spending time with her husband, State Representative Dubose Porter. If you ask her, she will tell you that her favorite thing to do is to sit down and eat at the dinner table with her family. If there are friends there, then that’s good too.
Carol Dodd Porter was born on November 8, 1958. She grew up in the small town of Wrightsville, Georgia, where her father, Dr. William A. Dodd, practiced medicine. When Dr. Dodd wasn’t seeing patients, you might have found him sitting at his piano playing some of the world’s greatest jazz songs, sometimes with some of the world’s great musicians by his side. Her mother, Mrs. Louise Dodd, was a teacher, author, and community volunteer.
It was on house calls with her father when Carol got her first glimpses of the poverty, hunger, sickness and abuse which plague our state. “I believed there were solutions for those problems then and now I know that there are,” Porter says. Carol Porter’s passion for education was most stirred in the class room of Mrs. Pansey Mixson. “I still remember her reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books to us every day,” the former tomboy recalled. But by far, it was Carol’s mother who had the most profound impact on her young life. “My mother has the highest energy and strongest work ethic that I have ever seen. And, every day, I aspire to be the example she has set for me,” the mother of four grown sons proclaimed.
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in Psychology, Carol went to work as a copywriter with the Courier Herald in Dublin. It was in Dublin where Carol met Dubose Porter, the county’s new state representative. Dubose left his law practice and along with Carol, purchased an interest in the newspaper.
Following the birth of their four sons, Stephen, Guyton, Asa and Inman, in five years, Carol Porter went to work on her first mission. Along with her husband, the Porters worked hard to raise their children to be exposed to education, the arts, scouting, and the teachings of the Church. All four of her sons followed in the footsteps of their father in obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Carol never was an Eagle Scout, but then again, they don’t have Eagle Scouts in the Girl Scouts.
After 14 terms in the Georgia Legislature ending with a position as House Democratic Leader, Dubose Porter stepped down to run for Governor of Georgia. All along, Carol had been at his side, listening and learning about the issues which affect our state. She researched policy positions, managed campaigns and formulated strategies for her husband. So, it only seemed natural that Carol could stand in for Dubose at the NFIB/Georgia's Small Business Day at the Capitol, held on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.
“It started when I sat in for DuBose at a governor’s forum,” Carol Porter commented. “And what I found out is, I know the issues facing Georgia better than some of the candidates running for governor that day. And I am passionate about this,” her husband’s biggest fan affirmed.
Then one by one, calls, emails and Internet posts came pouring in, asking her to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor. No one had announced for the position, other than the Republican incumbent Casey Cagle. So when the movement to draft Carol into the race began, she saw the opportunity to run for the office to stop the corruption she believes secretly infests the offices under the Gold Dome.
To Carol, political office is all about trust. “What I love is to find a solution to a problem. Solutions come through leadership and governing. The answers are there,” Carol adds. Believing that politics is just one way to help find those solutions, Mrs. Porter contended, “too many of the people who get involved in politics forget what they are supposed to be doing.” The candidate believes in government can work, as long as those in the government don’t usurp their power and start working for the people.
At this moment, it is entirely possible that the top two elected offices in Georgia could be filled by women, if not in November, then some day very soon. To Carol Porter, that is a good thing. “Women make up not only the majority of Georgia’s population, but also an even larger majority of the state’s voters,” Porter observed. What troubles her is that women hold a fraction of the elected offices in the state. “I hope that my candidacy, along with all the other female candidates in the country this year, will inspire young women to be more active in their communities and their government. I hope those young women will learn about Georgia’s government and issues we are facing,” Porter wishes.
More than anything else, the housewife and newspaper owner turned politician, wants to return the power of government to the people. “The biggest problem that our state is facing right now is the corrupting of the legislative process under the Gold Dome,” Porter remarked. By consolidating power in the hands in less than a dozen people, Mrs. Porter believes the Constitution of the State and the government itself has been compromised. “By allowing our system to work as our Constitution intended it to do, then all we have to do is put the facts on the table and let common sense be our guide,” affirmed Porter.
Candidate and citizen Carol Porter’s passions are self-evident that children should learn, people who want a job should work, and that our highways and waterways should be the best they can we can make them. Fighting the corruption she sees at the highest levels of state government may be her most impossible mission, but her passion for the power of the voices of the people will always be her most passionate mission.