Many area industries closed, and subsequently jobs were lost in the last 20 years, said John P. Page, candidate for the District 8 state Senate seat to be decided May 20.
“I want to encourage jobs and industry in our area,” Page said.
Education, particularly technical schools and colleges, must be supported to train a qualified work force, Page said.
“We’re competing with 158 (Georgia) counties,” Page said, adding that a qualified work force would keep young people in the area. He said many young people must leave the area to establish careers.
Page said one of his opponents, Ellis Black, claims to have brought jobs back to Georgia, but the returning jobs were in Atlanta.
“He has not brought jobs to south Georgia,” Page said. “We have job loss in south Georgia.”
Incentives, such as abatement of property taxes for several years, are needed for business, Page said. He explained that local governments would more than make up the temporary tax abatement by the creation of new jobs.
“You will offset that over a period of time with people putting money back into the community,” he explained.
Food-processing companies would capitalize on agriculture’s role in the area economy, Page explained.
“I’m a big supporter of the Georgia Grown Program,” Page said, adding that Georgia-grown farm products are shipped worldwide.
“I feel like we need aggressive leadership in south Georgia,” the candidate said.
Page said Black claims he kept Obamacare out of Georgia. “Obamacare is everywhere in Georgia,” Page said.
The candidate said his business experience qualifies him to serve effectively in the state Senate. He pointed out that as a Lowndes County commissioner, he dealt with a $98 million county budget.
Government should be streamlined by preventing duplication of services, Page said.
“I’m definitely supportive of our law enforcement,” the candidate said. “I think they need to be well-funded.”
Page said he is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and a proponent of protecting individual property rights.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.