Thomasville Times Enterprise

March 18, 2014

Robinson touts local roots

Mark Lastinger
CNHI

THOMASVILLE — U.S. Senate candidate Todd Robinson isn’t touting his political experience or powerful Washington, D.C., connections. He has neither, and he believes that is an asset for his campaign.

“We need fresh ideas,” he said during Monday night’s Meet-the-Candidate Forum at The Meeting Place. “We need a fresh perspective.”

Robinson, a Thomasville native who currently resides in Columbus, isn’t discouraged by the pundits and polls that say the Democratic nomination will go to Michelle Nunn, daughter of former longtime U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.

“They’ve said the race is over, but I beg to differ,” he said. “Thomasville has not voted yet.”

Robinson said he will be beholden to no one other than his constituents.

“It’s not about a man or family lineage that gets you to Washington,” Robinson said. “It’s about someone who is going up there to make the tough calls and tough decisions without having to call Dad and say, ‘Dad, what do I do?’

“I will have to stand on my own to feet.”

Robinson, a 1979 Central High School graduate, touted his links to Thomasville. His mother, Jesse Robinson, worked at Sunnyland and Flowers Baking Company before obtaining a nursing degree at Thomas Tech at the same time his sister, Myrtle, earned one. His deceased father, Collins Robinson, worked at Southwestern State Hospital.

“I know the economic and social challenges we have in Thomasville,” Robinson said. “We have unemployment. We have to put people to work and we have to convert Southwestern into something that will manifest into jobs for the people of Thomasville.”

Robinson suggested turning Southwestern, which closed at the end of last year, resulting in the loss of several hundred jobs, into a rehabilitation facility for area veterans.

“We don’t need to cut the military,” said Robinson, a retired Army veteran who teaches JROTC at Stewart County High School. “We need to help our veterans, especially our wounded warriors.”

Robinson, also a former firefighter, said he supports sparing education from budget cuts. He is also a proponent of a boost in the minimum wage.

Near the end of his address, Robinson said he wants to inspire welfare recipients to become independent. He is a firm believer in expanding opportunities at technical schools.

“Welfare is meant to be a form of assistance, not a way of life,” he said.

Robinson professed a belief in God and the importance of family values.

“If you don’t have God in the equation, it’s a lost cause,” he said.

He added, “We don’t need 25-year-old grandmothers and 25-year-old grandfathers.”

Robinson also expressed pro-choice views.

“Government has no business telling a woman what she can do with her body,” he said.

Robinson stressed the election’s important to President Obama’s ability to complete his agenda during his final two years in office. He urged the crowd of about 30 to vote.

“If we are going to turn Georgia blue, we’ve got to get on the job,” he said.