Republican gubernatorial candidates visit Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Republican gubernatorial candidates visit Albany

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgians will elect a new governor next year.

The primaries are still 15 months away, but the race got a jolt this week when Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, the Republican frontrunner, dropped out.

The three remaining announced GOP candidates were in Albany on Friday.

The annual 2nd Congressional District Republican Party Chairman's dinner brought out the three republicans running to be the next Georgia governor.

"What Georgia needs in its next governor is someone with real leadership skills," said Karen Handle, (R) Gubernatorial Candidate.

Leadership skills which all three current candidates stress they have.

"If you want to fix state government you have to fix state government, you have to know how it works in order to fix it. No one else has that type of experience," said John Oxendine, (R) Gubernatorial Candidate.

John Oxendine is the state insurance commissioner.

Karen Handel is the secretary of state, and Austin Scott is the chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee in the state house.

"I think they're a lot of people that are out there like me that are very frustrated," said Austin Scott, (R) Gubernatorial Candidate.

Frustration each candidate plans to end if they win the race.

"We're going to have to do things different in education and in regard to economic development to get back to helping Georgia grow," said Oxendine.

Oxendine says the state's executive branch needs a major overhaul.

"We need to remake the executive branch and realize we're there to help families and businesses across the state," Oxendine.

Wrestling with the state budget, its water problems, and transportation are also key issues the state's next leader will face head on.

"We need to make sure we do have more water when the next drought comes along, to make sure from a transportation standpoint that we're doing what's needed to expand economic development in our state," said Handel.

With the Lieutenant governor Casey Cagle out of the race, it's anyone's guess who'll be the front runner.

"We were in this race before the lieutenant governor made his announcement and we're going to be in this race to the end," said Scott.

Being in the race until the end is the dream of all these candidates and maybe a few more who haven't yet announced they'll run.

On the Democratic side, Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Former National Guard Commander and Secretary of State David Poyrthress, and Dublin State Representative Dubose Porter are running.

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