Kay Kirkpatrick

Kay Kirkpatrick


Occupation: State Senator, District 32, and orthopedic surgeon, recently retired from Resurgens Orthopaedics

Previous elected offices held: State Senate, District 32

Other community service experience: Northwest Georgia Elder Abuse Taskforce participant, Commission on Family Violence, Resurgens Charitable Foundation board, East Cobb Rotary.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

A dual background in healthcare and business is a good combination for the complex health and insurance issues facing Georgia. Since my retirement last year, I have had full time to work on my priorities for the state and our district. This is an opportunity for me to use the leadership skills developed over a lifetime as a female orthopedic surgeon and former president of Resurgens for a great cause, bringing a common-sense approach to solving problems.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

Many people have contacted me about the lack of choice in our healthcare system, especially for small business people. Our healthcare delivery system is fragmented and there is poor communication. Mental health, substance abuse and teen suicide are issues that are in critical need of a collaborative approach. I will work to connect the stakeholders on these very important problems and get more competition in our health insurance marketplace so that everyone can get affordable coverage. Public safety, especially school safety and elder abuse are also causes I am addressing.

After the new “ATL” regional transit authority forms, what local transit priorities would you advocate, if any?

Sandy Springs has representation in District 3 of the ATL via Mayor Paul and there will soon be a board representative for the area. Our state should be prepared for disruptive technologies, such as automated vehicles, in addition to more traditional public transit methods. Managed lanes along the top end can help and we need to get truck traffic routed around the city. People want everyone else to get out of their cars, but we don’t want to get out of our own vehicles; that’s a culture issue that is harder to fix.

What is your position on reducing or eliminating the state income tax and why?

I voted for the state income tax cut, as well as the legislation for a referendum for Fulton County residents on their homeowners exemption. Several of our surrounding states do not have a state income tax and we need to be competitive in attracting a trained workforce. It is also important to retain military veterans by eliminating the tax on their retiree benefits. Taxpayers are in the best position to determine how to spend their paychecks, not our government.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.