Don Cheeks of Augusta was first elected to the Georgia Senate from the 23rd
District in 1992.
Cheeks, a Democrat, is chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions
committee and vice-chairman of both the Finance and Public Utilities and
Transportation committees. He also serves on the prestigious Appropriations
committee, as well as the Ethics and Reapportionment committees.
In addition to his standing committee assignments, Cheeks also served on the
Senate Defense Conversion Strategies Study Committee which was created to
recommend new uses for Georgia military bases which might be closed as a
part of defense cutbacks.
He currently represents Georgia on the Transportation Committee of the
Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) and is a member of the Senate
Democratic Caucus' Policy Committee.
Senator Cheeks has authored numerous pieces of legislation such as:
Requiring criminal background checks and fingerprinting for principals,
teachers, and other certificated professionals. Requiring sanctions against
students for the loss or destruction of textbooks or library books. Prohibiting
the sale of drug paraphernalia. Requiring HIV testing of people who commit
crimes which could lead to the transmittal of AIDS. Requiring sexual offenders
to be chemically castrated before being eligible for parole. Prohibiting telephone
companies from charging more for touch tone service. Making it illegal for checks
to be written as collateral for a greater amount than the loan itself. Changing
numerous provisions relating to victim compensation by raising the maximum
award to victims. Making partial birth abortions illegal. Prohibiting unfunded
mandates from being passed onto local governments. Prior to his election to
the Senate, Cheeks served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 18 years.
He was also a member of the Augusta City Council for six years.
Cheeks, a retired businessman, is an active community leader. He is a former
chairman of the Jaycees, a past-president and district lieutenant governor
of the Civitan Club, and a former director of the Augusta Richmond County
Public Library. He has also been active in the March of Dimes, Muscular
Dystrophy Association, National Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the
United Fund and the Elks Club Charity Committee.
He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and
the Young Men's Library Association and is an honorary member of the
Richmond County Retired Teachers Association. He sponsored Little League
Baseball teams for 30 years.
Born May 1, 1931 in Richmond County, Cheeks attended the Citadel, the
University of Georgia, and Augusta Law School. He served in the U.S. Navy
during the Korean War.
Cheeks and his wife, the former Betty Horne, are the parents of two grown
daughters. He is a member of the Curtis Baptist Church where he has served
on the finance committee and as chairman of the Curtis Baptist Church School.
The school gymnasium was named in his honor. His wife Betty is a member of
the First Baptist Church where they attend. Senator Cheeks is president of the
Crusade Sunday School Class at the First Baptist Church.
The 23rd District which Cheeks represents includes Burke, Glascock, Warren and portions
of Richmond and Jefferson Counties.