ALBANY, Ga. -- On a campaign swing through Southwest Georgia, Democrat and former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes picked up the endorsements of several local elected officials Thursday.
Barnes, who is considered to be at the top of the heap of Democratic candidates heading into the July 20 primary, picked up the endorsement of State Rep. Winfred Dukes, Dougherty County Commissioners Gloria Gaines and John Hayes and Dougherty School Board Members Anita Williams- Brown and Milton "June Bug" Griffin.
"Gov. Roy Barnes...that sounds awfully authentic to me," Gaines said, while introducing Barnes Thursday for the group. "I really think he is the man for the job. We share many of the same beliefs on job creation, education and water....we fully support the candidacy of Roy Barnes."
Barnes thanked those elected officials for their support and said that, if elected, he'd refocus the state's efforts on restarting programs like One Georgia, which helped provide low-interest financing to businesses which invested in producing goods and services locally.
"Unfortunately, rural Georgia has been, in my view, side railed or derailed to make available to other, more populated or prosperous areas and the whole idea of our value-added agriculture program that we had through One Georgia has been abandoned," Barnes said.
Barnes supports a renewed vigor towards attracting manufacturing and industrial facilities into Southwest Georgia.
"We have an opportunity...in attracting manufacturing and industry to Georgia and this part of the state is a perfect place to do that," Barnes said. I know Albany has been hit by plant closures, those should have been top priority of the governor to keep those businesses here."
Barnes said he believes that economic opportunity also exists in turning Georgia's renewable Pine and Oak trees to fuel for biomass energy plants.
Barnes left Albany Thursday afternoon headed for stops in Moultrie and other areas of the state.