Tifton -- A lot of people say political issues are decided at the table. Kenny Hawkins, owner of Hawkeye's Bar-B-Que in Tifton, would certainly agree with that. Political debate seems to be on the lunch menu
"It's a wide open range of topics. Anything from the war, to local politics, to whatever is going on in town," said Hawkins.
While hot plates are on the table, the hot topic around the table is the upcoming mayoral election between businessman Jamie Cater and incumbent Paul Johnson.
"We've lost industry over the past 18 months. We've lost over 800 jobs here in our community," said Cater.
Job layoffs in Tifton have been major issue in the 2007 race with 3 factories recently closing their doors.
Cater says, "I believe that my business experience will allow me to talk to the industries and the CEO's to bring them down here."
But incumbent Paul Johnson, who has held office for 10 years, see progress in Tifton's future via I-75.
He says, "It is an economic boom for us. So much of the development has to do with transportation, warehousing, and distribution."
But with industry comes growth, something both challengers say they're prepared to handle.
Cater says, "Let's have some growth, not just growth to get big, but good, planned, steady, growth."
"We want to be able to feel like we can be able to compete in the marketplace for jobs," says Johnson.
It is up to the voters to decide between Cater, a former city council vice-chairman, and Johnson, who is adamant recent health concerns will not interfere with 4 more years of public service.
"I love Tifton, and I pledge and support to the betterment of Tifton," vowed Johnson.
"May the best man win," says faithful Hawkeye eatin' voter Fred D. Horne.
That's a decision that will be decided at the ballot box next Tuesday.
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