District 8 State Representative Matt Gurtler has earned the nickname Dr. NO from his colleagues in the Georgia House. And during the current session, Gurtler received a standing ovation from his fellow legislators when he actually voted “Yes”.
During his first term he was the leading naysayer with 36+% on the red button in 2017. That was followed by 40+% in 2018. And now the current session looks to be another record breaker. Just last week, excluding daily attendance and local calendar votes, the House had 59 votes. Representative Gurtler saw red 71% of the time.
Matt is a regular guest on our weekday “Mountain Mornings” radio show as more than half of his district is in our listening area. When asked to justify his voting record, he consistently cites these three criteria when judging the worthiness of legislation –
- Is it Constitutional?
- Does it expand the size of Government?
- Has he read it?
As a result, failure on any one of those three results in another No vote.
Reaction in the district is mixed to say the least. Those who believe governing requires a willingness to compromise without sacrificing core beliefs would tactfully categorize his voting record as unproductive. While others, who delight when someone “sticks it to the Man”, love it when Gurtler shows up in red on the big board.
And finally, since we are talking record numbers here, it should be noted Gurtler won reelection in 2018 with a 61-39 thrashing of his well-respected opponent.
Full disclosure – I actively supported that opponent in 2018 after campaigning for Matt in 2016.