MDJ Voter Guide, May 7, 2022 - A Republican's Shallow Rhetoric vs. a Leader's Thoughtful Solutions

Updated: May 10

John Albers


Occupation: Executive & Business Owner


Education/military service: Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Louisville. Albers also graduated from the University of Georgia, Legislative Leadership Institute, and the Cybersecurity program at Harvard University. Firefighter/EMT


Have you served in elected office before: Currently in office since 2011


Campaign website: www.senatoralbers.com


1. Why are you running for office?

To continue to serve the families of my district and state. I have served in the Senate for the past 11 years rising into the leadership as the Chief Deputy Whip. As the Chairman of Public Safety, subcommittee Chairman of Appropriations, vice Chairman of Finance and member of the Rules, Regulated Industries and Veterans committees I am best positioned to help and support Cherokee County. I work closely with city and county elected officials and assure we are making a meaningful impact for families. I bring a business approach to our state and limited government perspective.


2.What is the greatest challenge your constituents face that elected office would allow you to address? How would you address it?

Currently the biggest issue facing the district is inflation and public safety. Inflation has caused a major strain on families and business owners. I worked closely with the Governor and task force to allow for visits to long-term care to suspend the gas. As the chairman of Public Safety in the Senate, I have authored a major crime bill and add significant funds to our First Responders.


3. Should Georgia accept federal funding to expand Medicaid? Why?

No, we had a plan in place for certain waivers to be responsible and provide accessible healthcare. This was approved and ready to move forward when the Biden administration sadly stopped the program.


4. Should Georgia join states like Tennessee and Florida and eliminate its income tax?


Yes, we should continue to methodically lower the income tax as we balance keeping Georgia the #1 place to do business, maintain our AAA bond rating and have no deficit.



DEMOCRATS


Patrick Thompson


Occupation: Chief Sales Officer, New Energy


Party: Democratic Party


Age: (No answer provided)


Residence: Cherokee County


Hometown: Huntington, WV


Family (spouse, children): Spouse Lorraine, Sons Sean & Ryan


Education/military service: B.S., Biology & Psychology, Mary Washington Univ, MBA, Sustainability, Green Mountain College


Have you served in elected office before: no


Campaign website: www.georgiacando.com


1.Why are you running for office?

Georgia’s citizens aren’t being represented and they deserve the respect of the public servants they’ve voted into office. An examination of the legislative priorities over the past decade shows a direct line to the interests of corporate and industrial lobbyists, many of whom are out of State. An effective government with responsible taxation policies will improve the outlook and outcomes for Georgians. I’ve learned from decades of business experience that listening to those you work with and for, collaborating with others to find and implement good solutions, and encouraging innovation and ethical practices are hallmarks of true leadership. None of my representatives at any level of government exhibit or practice these traits. I want to return “public” to the role of public servant — bringing back accountability, two-way communications, and a citizen-oriented focus that combines my leadership with the community’s needs and delivers on transparency and integrity. Our State’s leadership has ventured so far from true representation — I’ve pledged to listen to all manner of constituents with open meetings, to use the office to improve your lives and focus on your priorities — all while taking in no lobby money or influence. Can your representative commit to that?



2.What is the greatest challenge your constituents face that elected office would allow you to address? How would you address it?

After running against our legislators for over a decade and a half, feedback from constituents has remained consistent about the things which keep them up at night. 1. Will a medical emergency cause them to lose their life, a home or a business? Medicaid expansion will strengthen the access and affordability of our healthcare system. We should be using our revenue surplus and mental health funding to support this top priority. 2. Will the community where they chose to live provide a quality education for their children and the youth of the area? Properly fund our public education system, increase the salaries of teaching professionals, eliminate the combative attitude driven by divisive legislation that prevents critical thought. Return HOPE to a needs-based program. 3. Can I get to work or services on time given the traffic? Develop an integrated transit plan that includes options other than more asphalt and lanes. Pool the resources and talent of the State to develop ideas and put into action both a transportation and a clean energy plan to improve constituent transit options and connectivity. Incent policy changes that make Georgia a leader in electrification and eliminates dependence on out-of-State energy sources.


3. Should Georgia accept federal funding to expand Medicaid? Why?

Yes. More Georgians and their healthcare facilities will become sick and die without access to the affordable healthcare that expansion would bring. The gap created by not funding our most vulnerable populations will continue to grow. Georgia is missing out on an economic engine that would each year create tens of thousands of jobs and bring $billions in economic output which would help exceed State obligations when the Federal stimulus runs out. And, by not expanding Medicaid, Georgia taxpayers have given $Billions to fund healthcare in other States. And we pay for the healthcare services of the uninsured — usually too late and more costly than preventative care. We’ve lost the multiplier effect of keeping hospitals and clinics healthy — especially in rural Georgia. Lost the opportunity to build an army of healthcare professionals during a time where our aging population is seeking more medical services, Covid has stretched our resources, and growth of our healthcare business should be a priority. While we’re finally agreeing to do something to plug our needs for mental health services, we’ve ignored expanded Medicaid’s ability to seed the growth of this sector and we’ll be faced with no one to fill these roles.



4. Should Georgia join states like Tennessee and Florida and eliminate its income tax?

No. I believe preserving and enhancing Georgia’s investments in public safety, public education, health care, college/tech school tuition, broadband, roads, parks and other infrastructure will do far more to boost inclusive economic growth and the well-being of our residents than cutting income taxes. Businesses looking to locate here are seeking quality services as these are the true building blocks of economic growth. And, despite our current tax surplus, derived mostly from Federal sources, Georgia revenues are still thin. Job growth is higher in States with income tax and States without this source of income push up taxes in other areas, including sales, property, gasoline, and local and municipal taxes. Most States with no income tax suffer from higher costs of living as well. Raising taxes in other areas would put more pressure on working Georgians who keep our economy flowing by spending their take-home pay in purchases subject to sales taxes. Citizens should ask which legislators are proposing this tax elimination, the policymakers’ corresponding tax segment, and which lobbyists are promoting these ideas. If their siren song is one of “boosting economic growth”, the evidence clearly shows the opposite and this is not a good time for more trickle-down experimentation.



Read the full article here:

https://www.mdjonline.com/elections/mdj-voter-guide-senate-district-56/article_fff2001e-b5c8-11ec-97ba-7306ecee024b.html

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