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Gov. candidate profile Carl Camon
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SAVANNAH — Despite a skimpy budget, Democrat Carl Camon has made his bid for governor a statewide effort.

In January, the former Ray City mayor reported he had $13 in his campaign coffers.

As of March 31, he said he'd raised only $3,959.55 during his campaign and had just $104.45 in the bank. He also listed total assets of just $600 and liabilities of $1,534.

Somehow, though, he scraped up $4,180.18 for his qualifying fee.

And, using a motor home that doubles as a rolling campaign headquarters, he's carried his message around the state.

He's stumped in Savannah, Atlanta, Augusta, Athens and many smaller towns.

Camon has stood lecturn-to-lecturn with opponents at Democratic candidate debates and earned generally positive reviews.

A professional-looking website outlines his stands on education, the economy, water, transportation and other issues.

On some, though, he provides more specifics than some voters may want. For example, he proposes to install water-free urinals in all state buildings.

The former high school teacher has stressed education more than any other issue.

"As governor," he said last June in Savannah, "we're going to fully fund education. We're going to find a way to do it. Education is the basis of everything else."

In LaGrange, he promised to be the "education" governor.

But a school matter also earned him unwanted attention.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said his teaching license was suspended for misconduct involving female students.

Camon said he did nothing wrong and quit rather than accept the sanction. He devoted much of his time at one debate to rebutting the charges.

Camon's March speech at a Savannah Democratic event bordered on the bizarre.

He said he was offered $1 million for his campaign if he'd drop out and run instead for lieutenant governor. He said later that the offer was relayed by an intermediary.

No one has owned up to it or explained why would it be worth $1 million to anyone to get him out of the race.

He has registered about 2 percent in the statewide polls that have included him.

Polls and money, he says, don't matter, because the response he's getting all over the state shows he's connecting with voters.

"Obviously I must be making some noise for me to be offered that kind of support," he said, referring to the $1 million.

In May, he suffered another setback when he and his wife were hospitalized briefly after an auto accident near Nashville, Ga.

"We are going to be out in full force all around the state," he said. "We are going to fight to the end."

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