MACON, Ga. — Two candidates are vying for Georgia District House 144 seat. Dale Washburn is the Republican candidate, and Nettie B. Conner is the Democratic candidate.
The winner will replace Republican incumbent Danny Mathis. The district covers 3 counties including parts of Macon-Bibb, Monroe, and Jones counties.
Washburn says he believes district concerns include education and public safety in the area of Macon-Bibb County. Overall, he hopes to focus on taxes.
"Overall, I believe in less taxation and less regulation," says Washburn.
Adding that when he looks at legislation he always keeps families and businesses in mind, "For our families to operate correctly there has to be jobs that provide income to feed those families, to provide good housing for those families, so I always look at it from that basis.
Conner says she believes district concerns include homelessness, healthcare, and homeowner taxes.
"Politicians can set policies so that you cannot arbitrarily raise rent and have families homeless," says Conner.
Both candidates say they plan to improve public safety in the district.
"I think we just back our law enforcement people, and provide them what they need to do their work, and protect them as they try to do the work to protect our people," says Washburn.
"People are not able to meet their basic needs, and when that happens there's an increase in crime, so help meet their basic needs," says Conner.
We also asked about current shortages in Georgia's labor market and their solutions include more training.
"We should be broadening our look to more apprenticeships, people having on the job training, generally just trying to be sure that we are providing the necessary training needed," says Washburn.
"Give them the training, it's not like they don't want the work, but they want their work to be meaningful, so give them the tools that they need to get the jobs that they know they can make a career of," says Conner.
Conner says she also hopes to look at ways to provide workers better transportation to work and better paying salaries.
In education, Washburn says he serves on the House's higher education committee, and believes Georgia is doing very well. He says he see some areas for improvement but doesn't believe they are on the state level.
"I think at the state level we are probably doing what we need to and local governments probably need to make some decisions to improve things," says Washburn.
"We are dealing with mental health in our school system, that's not their job to be a psychiatrist, so we need to give them the resources to better equip our children," says Conner.
The candidates say they are each highly qualified to serve District 144.
Washburn holds the current District 141 House seat, and has served as a Jones County commissioner. He also currently chairs a housing study committee.
Conner says she worked for the school board and state prison in California and is also working towards a social work degree at Middle Georgia State University.