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Gubernatorial hopeful: Education the key

Photo by Ricki Barker

Photo by Ricki Barker

ALBANY, Ga. -- State Rep. DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, says that if he is elected Georgia governor in November, he has a plan to "fix the mess our state is in."

Porter, who has served 28 years in the Georgia House, says his philosophy is simple.

"I believe in Georgia," Porter, a newspaper publisher, said. "I believe we can rebuild our economy by putting divisions behind us and the needs of the people of the State of Georgia before us."

Porter, the House minority leader, thinks it begins and ends with education, saying he would restore education funding, decrease class sizes and put more technology in Georgia's schools.

"The days of attracting industry to our state with massive incentives alone have passed," Porter said. "We need a healthy and educated work force. Accepting progressive technology methods, empowering our teachers, partnering with parents in K12 and strengthening our technical colleges, community colleges and universities will secure a healthy economy for our future.

"Education means more people working and sharing the tax burden with us all."

At the moment, Porter is in the middle of a seven-man logjam in the race for the Democratic nomination. The field includes party luminaries such as former Gov. Roy Barnes, outgoing state Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former state labor commissioner David Poythress.

"I think we'll see the field narrow down to just a couple of us," Porter said, "and I am the only one who resides outside a large metro area. I think that will help me."

As governor, Porter said, would work to help Georgia gain its share of federal dollars by working more closely with the Obama administration in Washington.

"Sonny Purdue has wasted opportunity after opportunity to bring more federal money to our state," Porter said. "My administration would work closely with Washington to ensure Georgia gets our fair share."

In a twist to state politics, Porter's wife, Carol, is on the Democratic ticket in the race for lieutenant governor.