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Interview with David Poythress, December 8, 2008

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:34 - Childhood and Education / Career

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Partial Transcript: Macon, Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about his childhood in Macon, Ga. He also talks about his education, his various careers in the military, politics, and law. He also gives a brief summary of his entire career.

Keywords: Comissioner of Revenue; Emory University; John Blackmon; Macon, Georgia; Medicaid; National Guard; Secretary of State; Vietnam; governor

00:10:11 - Government reorganization / Medicaid program

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Partial Transcript: Let’s go back for a minute to the Medicaid problem.

Segment Synopsis: Although Poythress was not there for the entire process, he talks about the effects of the reorganization of state government implemented during Gov. Carter's administration. He also mentions changes to the Medicaid program.

Keywords: Department of Human Resources; Jimmy Carter; Medicaid; health services; reorganization

00:13:28 - Secretary of State

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about being Secretary of State.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about how much he enjoyed being Secretary of State. He talks about the issuing of licenses and the voting system in Georgia.

Keywords: Ben Fortson; Secretary of State; electronic voting; licenses; paper ballot; state licensing; voting

00:16:20 - Race for Labor Commissioner / Labor department

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Partial Transcript: Back to politics.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about the ugly race between himself and Al Scott for Labor Commissioner, which Poythress won. He explains his role as the Labor Commissioner, and talks about the different things the Labor Department does in Georgia, including its two biggest services of providing unemployment benefits and job training.

Keywords: Labor Commissioner; election; job training; labor department; plurality; unemployment

00:25:16 - Run for Governor

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Partial Transcript: So you left the Labor Department and ran for governor.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about his gubernatorial race against Roy Barnes and Lewis Massey. He explains how the race was a real "horse race" between Barnes and Massey because Tom Murphy supported Barnes, while Zell Miller supported Massey.

Keywords: Adjutant General; Lewis Massey; Pierre Howard; Roy Barnes; Tom Murphy; Zell Miller; election; gubernatorial race

00:28:15 - Georgia Department of Defense

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about the Georgia Department of Defense.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about being the Adjutant General, which puts him in charge of the Georgia Department of Defense. He explains the structure of the department and how it consists of the Army Guard, Air Guard, and the State Defense Force. Poythress also talks about the deployment of the National Guard to Afghanistan, Iraq, and aid for Hurricane Katrina.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Bosnia; Department of Defense; Hurricane Katrina; Iraq; Katrina; Kosovo; National Guard; Oglethorpe

00:38:09 - 2010 Governor's Race / Georgia Politics

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Partial Transcript: So, now you’re out of politics, so to speak, and--

Segment Synopsis: Poythress talks about his campaign for governor in the 2010 election. He explains his reasoning for why the Republican party became the dominant party in Georgia politics, but also predicts that the Democratic party will return to political prominence in Georgia.

Keywords: Civil War; Democratic Party; Georgia politics; Republican Party; governor; gubernatorial election; recruitment

00:42:46 - Georgia Governors

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Partial Transcript: You’ve been associated with a lot of prominent politicians in the state of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Poythress gives his opinion on the lasting impression of the Georgia governors he served under: Jimmy Carter, George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller, Roy Barnes, and Sonny Perdue. Poythress offers an explanation for how Georgia became the "Empire State" of the South.

Keywords: Empire State of the South; business; development; economics; economy; industrialization; labor

00:51:50 - Closing reflections

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Partial Transcript: If you look back on your career, both political and military, would you have done anything differently?

Segment Synopsis: Poythress reflects on his career, and he shares his greatest accomplishments and disappointments.

Keywords: YMCA; accomplishments; career; disappointments; family; governors race; military; reflections