Veteran U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, brought his campaign to replace retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss to Albany Monday. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, brought his campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to Albany Monday, and the veteran congressman wasted little time in establishing his South Georgia and conservative connections.
“I know South Georgia well,” Kingston, who has been a member of the U.S. House since 1993, said. “You can ask Dougherty Commission Chair Bodine Sinyard and he’d tell you I am the only Georgian running for the U.S. Senate who can find Booger Bottom without using a map.”
Kingston said he understood the importance of agriculture to the state and especially to the farmers of South Georgia.
“I am the only Republican candidate for the Senate who lives south of I-20, the only one. I am the right and only candidate for South Georgia.” Kingston said. “Agriculture is a $76 billion industry in Georgia. Our state’s economy was built on the bounty of our fields. That is why I have been a strong advocate for farm families and for policies that protect our safe and abundant food supply throughout my public service.
“As Chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, I worked to make the Department of Agriculture more transparent and accountable. I advanced agricultural research and programs that made production more efficient. I promoted renewable energy production that would not impact the food supply.”
Kingston then turned his sights on the Savannah Port project, taking a swipe at President Barack Obama for not including money for deepening the harbor in the FY2015 budget.
“I was shocked and I heard the Obama administration did not commit one penny of construction money for the project in its just-released 2015 budget proposal,” Kingston said. “However, in spite of this lack of support, I remain optimistic. Fortunately we have a Plan B. We already have overcome major obstacles. We are committed to see it through in spite of the president’s objection.”
Kingston said that constant deepening of the port has allowed Savannah to handle larger container ships and has allowed Georgia to keep pace with international trade competition. Savannah is the East Coast’s second largest port, and more than 352,000 people are connected with the facility with an economic impact of is approximately $18.5 billion.
“The cost benefit ratio is 5.5 to 1. This is why the project is supported all over the state and by members of Congress in Georgia from both parties,” Kingston said.