ALBANY, Ga. -- Southwest Georgia Regional Airport was crowded with travelers on a busy Friday morning as Carol Porter's plane touched down. But some there were not there to catch a flight, but to hear the Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate's take on Tuesday's election.
State Rep. Carol Fullerton, D-Albany, a longtime friend of Porter, introduced her, commenting that Porter is "doing good things in the community and the state" and that she "knows how to get people to work together. She's a whiz. A whirlwind. She's great at getting people from both sides of the aisle to agree."
Fullerton offered a reminder about the election. "We're electing all state officers," she said. "We need your input."
"I'm excited about being in Albany," Porter said upon entering the airport room before thanking the assembled crowd for its support.
Porter discussed the issues that she said she felt should be at the forefront of voters' minds, including improvements in education, economic turnaround, assisting small business and improving leadership on the governmental level.
Regarding education, Porter said, "We need an educated public. We need to educate people so they can support themselves."
She warned that the state should advocate for more education in the vocational fields, adding, "There are too many dropouts. It's more expensive to keep someone in jail" than it is to pay for a public education.
Porter said of the economy, "We can put people back to work. Our No. 1 goal is to get more people in the work force."
The success of small business is also important to the economy, according to Porter, who said, "I know what small business is going through."
Porter was also outspoken on the subject of governmental corruption. She told the Albany audience it was necessary to "get rid of corruption of the legislative voting process."
Furthermore, she argued there was little hope for change because of certain members of the Legislature "forcing votes based on threats and coercion."
She also criticized what she called a "lack of (governmental) leadership," which has contributed to the problems currently facing the state.
"We need people willing to stand up for the people," Porter said.
Porter promised the crowd that, with strong leadership, "We can turn this state around."
"There are solutions," she said. "We (just) need new leadership that's willing to put the people first."
The Atlanta Democrat will have to defeat Tricia Carpenter McCracken of Augusta in Tuesday's Democratic primary to advance to the general election in November. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is unopposed in his bid for the Republican nomination, and Libertarian Rhonda Martini also will be on the November ballot.