Georgia Gov. candidate Evans stops in Bainbridge Thursday

Published 4:51 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

Growing up in Ringgold, Georgia, Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Evans knows the struggles rural areas face. For this reason, Evans took it upon herself to visit several rural Georgia towns, including Bainbridge Thursday afternoon.

During her visit, Evans spent time in the downtown square and was struck by the potential for growth Bainbridge has. She said she enjoyed seeing the mix of old and new businesses and believes the state should focus on small businesses. She knows these businesses are the backbone of the economy and in many communities as well. She wants to reduce the taxes on small businesses and additionally provide access to the capital necessary to grow.

Most importantly, she feels Georgia-based small businesses should always get the first opportunity at state contracts.

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One way Evans hopes to fill these jobs is to restore the HOPE Grant for students who plan to attend a technical college. She fought against the initial cuts to the Grant and wants any student with a 2.0 to have the opportunity to attend a technical school.

Evans realizes there is a skills gap in Georgia. She links the skills gap to the failure to train sufficient middle-skill workers due to the cuts in the HOPE.

Evans was the first child in her family to obtain a college degree and knows this would have been impossible without some type of financial help. She wants the state to consider a needs based financial aid. She does not want only the higher income families to send their children to college; she wants everyone to have a chance at a higher education without the debt being a crippling factor.

Limited transportation can be a reason some are unable to attend a postsecondary institution. Evans hopes to invest in infrastructure and include a coordinated regional mass transit system.

Many have seen the Metro Atlanta commuter rail system, but Evans wants to develop a rail system that would connect towns such as Columbus, Macon, Albany, Savannah and Atlanta together. The pros of this would allow residents to broaden their pool of potential jobs.

Residents would no longer have to drive for hours in order to get to a job slightly further from their home base.

Evans also wants to invest in keeping a strong health care system. She said she thinks it is a tragedy Medicaid hasn’t expanded in Georgia. As a lawyer, Evans spent years exposing the waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in the healthcare system and intends to continue that work as Governor. She claims if the state works to cut waste and fraud from the system, healthcare costs will come down and be more affordable to all.

These are only a few of the key issues Evans hopes to focus on. She wants Bainbridge to know, “they have a friend in [her]” and that she plans to bring economic growth to the city and hope and opportunity to all.