Candidates Fly in for last-minute stumping

Photo by Terry Lewis

Photo by Terry Lewis

ALBANY, Ga. -- Democrats made a last-ditch appeal for votes Monday at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport as three candidates for major races dropped in during a statewide blitz while another took off on his own swing.

With the election taking place today, four different Democratic

candidates made their case to undecided voters.

Attorney General candidate Ken Hodges, kicked things off with a brief rally before climbing aboard his jet to barnstorm the state. Lt. Gov. hopeful Carol Porter then flew in quickly followed by former Gov. Roy Barnes and Labor Commissioner candidate Darryl Hicks.

Barnes, seeking to return to Atlanta after being ousted by Sonny Perdue in the 2002 gubernatorial election, is running against Republican Nathan Deal.

His pitch to voters was simple.

"I'd like to ask the people of Georgia, if you had your own business and you had to hire someone to to run that business -- either Roy Barnes or Nathan Deal -- who would you hire?" Barnes said. "I think the answer is clear ... and it sure ain't Nathan Deal."

Barnes added that, "it's high time that Georgia had a governor that would look out for the people of the state. We need to get this economy moving again," he said. "And we need a governor who will look out after our own folks. We (Democrats) have an outstanding ticket, a ticket that from top to bottom is full of people with honesty and integrity.

We have candidates who will take care of the people of Georgia rather than themselves.

"Folks need to take a look at their situations and ask themselves 'am I better off than I was eight years ago?' I think we all know the answer to that question."

Barnes said his top priority would be job creation.

"We can create jobs in Georgia by making sure every state contract is given to a company from Georgia that uses Georgia workers," Barnes said. "We have companies here that are outsourcing customer service jobs to India and the Philippines. We need to keep those jobs in state.

"Not one state contract should be given to a company that outsources jobs Georgians are capable of doing. Let's take care of our own folks for awhile."

Hodges, who is running against Republican Sam Olens for state Attorney General, reached out to Republican voters -- especially those in southwest Georgia.

"The people of southwest Georgia know I've stood up for them," the former Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney said. "They know I will also stand up for them and Georgia in Atlanta. We need a voice for the area in the statehouse. I've been endorsed by more than 170 sheriffs and district attorneys all across the state.

"Get the word out that we need a prosecutor, not a politician, as our next attorney general."

Porter, who flew in just before Barnes arrived, is locked in a fight with Republican incumbent Casey Cagle. If elected, Porter said education would be her major focus.

"My opponent's major advantage is that he has an 'R' behind his name," Porter said. "I want to bring everyone together and do the right thing for the people of Georgia by saving the taxpayers money. The place to start is education.

"It's cheaper to educate a child than it is to lock one up. Georgia is No. 1 in the nation in the percentage of its population in the correctional system.

"If we fix education we can also fix that problem."

Hicks, who is running against Republican Mark Butler, said he will work with Barnes to create jobs for Georgians.