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Candidate profiles: Georgia governor
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Jason Carter

Jason Carter

Age: 39

Family: Wife and two sons

Occupation: Attorney with Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore

Political experience: State senator, founder of political advocacy group Red Clay Democrats

Education: Juris doctorate, University of Georgia Law School ’04; Bachelor of Arts in political science, Duke University ’97

Website: www.carterforgovernor.com

What are your goals if elected?

I believe that Georgia can have a bright future where no one gets left out. As governor, my focus will be on protecting our schools, building an economy that works for everyone, and restoring honesty to our government. Education is my top priority. I will put forward a separate education budget to ensure our schools get the resources they need before politicians spend money on other things. I will restore the HOPE Scholarship and give teachers the respect and support they deserve. The best way to grow the economy is to have middle-class people with money in their pockets. But right now, Georgia has the country’s highest unemployment rate and wages are falling. We need to invest in our students and small businesses to build a skilled workforce and attract more good-paying jobs to Georgia.

What differentiates you from your primary opponent?

In my time in the state Senate, I have worked across party lines to deliver results for Georgians. I’ve never voted for a tax increase, and education has always been my first priority. Gov. Deal has overseen the largest contraction in public education in our state’s history. He has shorted our schools by billions of dollars, and that has had real consequences. We have 9,000 fewer teachers than we did five years ago. Since Gov. Deal took office, 91 school districts have raised property taxes in the face of the state cuts. When I’m governor, education will be the first priority every year, not just in election years. Gov. Deal’s ethics scandals have now cost Georgia taxpayers millions of dollars. Georgia needs an honest government that works for everyone, not just big corporations and campaign donors. I will restore transparency, accountability and integrity to state government.

Nathan Deal

Age: 72

Family: Wife, four grown children and six grandchildren

Occupation: Attorney

Political experience: Governor, state senator, U.S. House representative

Education: Mercer University (undergraduate degree and J.D.)

Website: nathandeal.org

What are your goals if elected?

In my first term, I’ve worked every day to make Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business and create jobs. Together, we accomplished that goal, with top rankings from CNBC, Area Development magazine and Site Selection magazine in the past year. In my second term, I want to keep Georgia the No. 1 place for business and jobs, not so that we can have a banner hanging from the rafters but so we can attract businesses, investors and top talent from around the country and the globe to create more good-­paying jobs for Georgians. Jobs for Georgians. A high standard of living for our families. Investment in a better future for our children. I will continue the work we’ve started in education, transportation, economic development, criminal justice, health care and government accountability.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

I have an economic growth plan that’s resulted in job growth, lower taxes and a strong, business-friendly climate. I’ve overseen four balanced budgets while cutting taxes and increasing education spending. My opponent is running on his namesake, not his record. He has put forth no serious proposals or ideas of his own. He wants to increase education spending by $1 billion, but refuses to say where the money would come from. He advocates an Arkansas-style Medicaid expansion more expensive than the president’s plan. The cost of these two spending increases alone would amount to more than $12.5 billion. I believe government should do its job in an effective and efficient manner, and then get out of the way so Georgians can live their lives the way they see fit. Sen. Carter is a tax-­and-­spend liberal who believes in bigger government, more spending and higher taxes.

Andrew Hunt

Age: 54

Family: Wife, five children

Occupation: Nanotechnologist and founder and CEO of nGimat Co.

Political experience: None

Education: Bachelor of Science, Auburn University; master’s, Colorado School of Mines; doctorate in materials science and engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Website: andrewhunt.us

What are your goals if elected?

There is a better path forward in Georgia – one based on freedom and fairness. We can achieve this with cost-effective, smaller government and lower taxes. A budget overhaul will allow us to reduce personal income tax to 4 percent, create a level playing field and save billions on waste and dysfunctional programs. I will end government cronyism and restore rights, responsibilities and free enterprise to the people. I will reduce Georgia unemployment to less than 5 percent. We should incentivize jobs, not penalize them. We will refund payroll taxes to free market employers for all full-time jobs paying over $11 an hour anywhere in Georgia. Georgia will rise to be a top-20 state in education by focusing on what is best for each child. A new system with school choice is the answer – not more money to a failing system.

What differentiates you from your opponents?

I am the only candidate who will reduce government taxes, waste and regulations. They will make more laws, but I will erase them in order to increase our freedom. They want control over education, while I support schools and families making more decisions for themselves. I will provide hand-ups to end the cycle of poverty, while they do not address our failed system of handouts. I am an innovative engineer who effectively solves problems, while Deal and Carter are both lawyers and career politicians. I have a fresh, business-oriented perspective that is not held back by politics, while they are tied to special interest groups and organizations. I will appoint the best people to positions in an open and transparent manner, while they will use their party connections. As governor I will continue to meet people across Georgia instead of sitting behind a desk after the election is over.