Senate runoff race coming Dec. 6

It is down to the wire for Mike Crane and Duke Blackburn. The top two vote-getters in the runoff election for the Dist. 28 state Senate seat are set to have the voters make their choice on Dec. 6.

Dist. 28 includes all of Coweta and Heard counties and portions of Carroll and Troup counties.

Both candidates recently provided an overview of their main issues to the Newnan-Coweta County Chamber of Commerce.

Crane, a 48 year-old general contractor from Newnan said his main issues included the economy, limited and more efficient government and simplifying the tax code.

Blackburn, a 61 year-old retired state law enforcement officer and former small business owner from Newnan said his issues included working for the whole district, reducing regulatory burdens on business, continuing the expansion of healthcare facilities in Coweta County, supporting both the HOPE scholarship and groups such as teachers, veterans, seniors and all public safety officials.

Aside from the public venues attended by the candidates, The Citizen also posed several questions to each. One of those questions pertained to an issue as pertinent and volatile as any today - the economy.

Blackburn and Crane were asked to give voters a few ideas on how they would address the sluggish economy, both in the Dist. 28 region and the state.

In his response Blackburn said, “Unnecessary regulations and burdensome taxes must be removed from new business and industry trying to establish in Georgia. The business and industries already operating in Georgia must have these regulations lifted in order for them to expand. Many of the permits and processes businesses must endure are often duplicate and burdensome.

“We need a full audit on the state’s regulations and try to cut as much red tape as we possibly can. Good quality educated and technically-trained work forces must be available for hire. Finally, pushing back on the federal government’s hundred thousand pages of taxes and regulations is in order. The top down mentality that Washington knows best must be stopped. Given the right environment, we can turn the corner on this Obama economy,” Blackburn said.

And in his response Crane said, “For growth and economic prosperity to return to Georgia, we must position ourselves as the most attractive state in the nation to do business. We can do this on several levels.

“First, we must have the most efficient form of governance in the nation. That means we must be the most cost effective government body anywhere. This is accomplished by eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse; limiting the role of government in our daily lives; and limiting regulations to those that balance the concerns of our environment, our people, and our businesses. An efficient government also means the lowest tax burden possible.

“Second, our healthcare and education systems must be second to none. With the introduction of competitive forces into the healthcare and education markets, we can drive down the cost, expand choices and availability, and improve outcomes.

“In addition, we must have the resources and transportation systems in place to attract long-term business commitments to our state. From clean and abundant water and power, to efficient transportation and fuel supply lines, with proper planning and energetic implementation (not just talk), we can prepare the way for a strong and growing Georgia,” said Crane.

The winner of the Dec. 6 runoff election will fill the unexpired term of Sen. Mitch Seabaugh who recently resigned his post.