THOMASVILLE — Georgia House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley came to Thomasville last Thursday to rally support and raise money for area Democratic House candidates Twitty Titus and Treva Gear.

As an older former colleague liked to say, “it takes coal to run a train and gold to run a campaign,” Hugley (D-Columbus) told about 70 people who gathered for the candidate Meet and Greet at Receptions for You.

Earlier, Titus, executive director of the Woodleaf Senior Care assisted living facility, spoke about the challenges she has faced as a businesswoman and a single mother of four children, including a high-functioning autistic son.

“I know what it’s like to come home from work and find the electricity turned off,” she said, “and it doesn’t feel good.”

She called for raising the minimum wage to a living wage. According to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a person making the minimum wage today in Georgia has to work 83 hours a week to afford a one-room apartment, she said, “and that’s not acceptable.”

She also said she would fight for Medicaid expansion to help southwest Georgia’s struggling hospitals and improve the area’s health care. Currently, Archbold Medical Center delivers more than $100 million a year in uncompensated care.

Yet “we’re leaving $8 million a day in your federal tax dollars on the table,” she said. “That’s bad economics and bad humanity.”

Expanding Medicaid would be good for the area economy, she said, noting that every new hospital job creates two others in the community.

Meanwhile, “Georgia ranked dead last in our maternal mortality rate. And this year our maternal mortality rate got even worse. That’s shameful. We must take care of our mothers.”

Gear, who was forced to cancel her appearance because of a schedule conflict, sent a video message in which she said, “I want to mend the broken bootstraps of District 175.”

The Lowndes County instructional coach, Gear said she tells her students to dream big and get an education because education is the key to success, but they need equal access and opportunity — to education and jobs.

She also stressed the need for affordable health care and public transportation.

“Most of all, I want to invest in human capital,” she said, explaining that people are the consumers that power our economy. “When we build people we build our economy and a better Georgia.”

Titus, a Thomasville resident, is running in District 173, which includes parts of Thomas and Decatur counties and all of Grady County. Gear’s District 175 encompasses all of Brooks County and portions of Thomas and Lowndes counties.