Democratic candidates visit

Published 8:13 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

Democratic candidates running for local, regional and statewide offices gathered at the Kirbo Center on Thursday to talk with a small group of potential voters.

The candidates visited Bainbridge to attend a meet-and-greet sponsored by the Decatur County Democratic Party.

Candidates for governor

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David Poythress cited his previous service as Georgia Secretary of State, Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, his two terms as Labor Commissioner in the 1990s and his post as the commanding officer of the Georgia National Guard between 1999 and 2007.

“Each one of those positions was a turnaround situation … when those organizations needed strong leadership,” Poythress said.

Poythress said the top issues facing Georgia are jobs, the economy, water and transportation. He said one of his chief goals, if elected, would be to reduce Georgia’s high unemployment rate.

Dubose Porter, a newspaper publisher from Dublin, Ga., cited his 27 years of experience in the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2005 he was elected Minority Leader of the House’s Democratic Caucus.

Porter said his top issues are jobs, education, traffic gridlock in the Atlanta metropolitan area and water.

He said his education goal, if elected, would be to have every third-grade student reading at a third-grade level by the end of each school year. He said reaching the goal would have a dramatic impact on the state’s poor overall high school graduation rate.

Poythress and Porter will face off against five other Democrats in the July 20 primary, including former Gov. Roy Barnes and Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

A representative for Barnes also spoke at the event.

Candidates for School Superintendent, Secretary of State spoke

Three candidates for Secretary of State—Michael Mills of Atlanta, Gail Buckner of Jonesboro, Ga., and Gary Horlacher of Peachtree City, Ga., all spoke at the forum.

Two candidates for State School Superintendent, Beth Farokhi of Marietta, Ga., and Brian Westlake of Decatur, Ga., spoke at the event.

Other candidates for statewide offices who were present at Thursday’s event included R.J. Hadley, who will oppose Mike Thurmond—in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate held by Republican Johnny Isakson. Thurmond is currently serving as Georgia’s Labor Commissioner.

Darryl Hicks, a candidate for Labor Commissioner, also attended.

Other attendees

Representatives for U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, candidate for Lt. Gov. Nancy Porter and Attorney General candidate Ken Hodges also spoke at the event.

Nancy Porter is married to Dubose Porter, the gubernatorial candidate.

Marjean Boyd, who will oppose incumbent Republican Gene Maddox for the Georgia House of Representatives District 172 race, attended the event.

Also speaking were David Holt, who will oppose incumbent Democrat Earl Perry for the County Commission District 1 seat, and Ted Snell, who is one of three candidates running for the County Commission District 4 seat currently held by Palmer Rich, who chose not to qualify to run for re-election.

Republican candidate Frank Loeffler will oppose the winner in the July 20 primary between Snell and Democrat David Cottles.