In the runup to November’s Midterm Election, the Bryan County News will be spotlighting several down ballot elections to inform voters of traditionally less-covered races. We reached out to the candidates running for Lieutenant Governor to learn more about their positions on the issues. Democrat Sarah Amico is running against Republican Geoff Duncan. Their responses are below.
1. If elected, would you be willing to reach across the aisle and choose someone from a different party to a committee chair position?
Duncan: I'd consider it if the Senator in question was willing to work across the aisle and was the top subject matter expert on the issues that would come before the committee.
2. If it comes to pass, what would you do to collaborate with the governor if he or she is not a member of your party?
Amico: Of course. As the Chairperson of Jack Cooper Holdings Corp., I don’t have the luxury to come into work every day and not produce results simply because someone disagrees with me. In fact, one of the things that I’ve been good at in my ten years as Chairperson of our company is bringing people together even when they don’t always start seeing a problem from the same point of view.
As Lt. Governor, I would be more than happy to work with a Governor Brian Kemp. I think we could work together to make sure that no more of our rural hospitals close which I don’t think is a partisan issue. I think there’s not a Republican, Democrat or Independent who wants to see an eighth hospital close in our rural areas. I think that we can work together on independent redistricting to make sure that we have fair elections without gerrymandering where voters continue to choose their representatives, not the other way around. I think we can work together to update our school funding formula (Quality Basic Education Formula), which hasn’t been updated since the 1980’s. There are plenty of places to work together and we just need leaders willing to do it.
Duncan: I don’t think that is going to happen. In general, I am always willing to work across party lines in the best interests of Georgians but that does not mean giving up on our core beliefs. For example, the rural hospital tax credit that I championed passed the House 163 - 0 and Michael's Law, which I authored to raise the age of bouncers to 21, passed 151 - 13. I'm going to be a Lt. Governor who works with every legislator to ensure that Georgians' best interests are being advanced and protected.
3. What initiatives would you like to see the General Assembly prioritize in the 2019-20 session?
Amico: Medicaid expansion, preventing the closure of additional rural hospitals, fully funding our public schools, updating the school funding formula, independent redistricting, rebuilding a bi-partisan rapport in the legislature are all at the top of my do to list.
Duncan: As a small business owner, I am going to continue my focus on conservative reforms that rollback government and allow small businesses to grow and expand. This year, our conservative leadership delivered the largest tax cut in Georgia history, but it is only a start. I am committed to greater income tax cuts that will drop our rate by an additional 2 percentage points. This will help Georgia to remain competitive for businesses looking to relocate but will also allow our hard-working families to keep more of their hard-earned money. I also want to continue the focus on rural health care with solutions like the rural health care tax credit that I championed in 2016. Since that measure was signed into law, local individuals and businesses have overwhelming invested in the win-win proposition that has already delivered over $60 million to Georgia's rural hospitals.
Learn more about Sarah Amico at https://sarahforgeorgia.com/
Learn more about Geoff Duncan at http://teamduncan.org/