Last week Gene Mitchell announced his candidacy for the vacate State Senate 7 seat vacated by Greg Goggins (R-Douglas) who decided not to run for re-election in Ben Hill County.
Mitchell, a 26 year old former Marine who was honorably discharged from the Military Last year is the only democrat to qualify for the seat. He will face the winner of the republican primary in November.
Mitchell attended Fitzgerald High School & then later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps which his tour of duty took him to over twenty countries. He served in Active Duty from 2004- 2008 & then in the Reserves from 2008- 2011 After being discharged he entered Mercer University & majored in Political Science.
Gene looked to Fitzgerald to see what future lay there. He found limited opportunities for a returning college graduate. A community that fails to provide a means of living for its youth is doomed to die in the future & he wants to secure the future of those communities by helping south Georgia Grow for the current and future citizens of District 7.
Excerpts from his announcement, which by the way you find on his facebook page, he says..... As I look back on my life, the answer is clear that American dream still very much exists. As children, my sister and I lived with my single mother who did not graduate high school. My mother worked two jobs and went to night school until she obtained her GED and associates degree from East Central Tech. My mother did not accomplish this alone. I remember many weekends and nights when my sister and I would stay with my grandmother and Aunt Alisa, both of whom also worked two jobs.
Unfortunately, over the past ten years, a radical change has occurred in South Georgia.
The public education system which laid the strong foundation for me is under attack. Austerity measures implemented a decade ago have cut deep into Georgia's education budget, forcing local governments like Ben Hill county to foot the bill. These cuts in education have forced furlough days, layoffs, and struggling school systems to wonder how to properly provide adequate education for our children. As a man who was brought out of poverty by public education, I see this issue as the number one issue facing our children, our community, and the future of South Georgia.
The burden of funding education now pushed upon our local governments has not only created difficulties for our school systems but also for our local economies. The recession has deeply impacted south Georgia's manufacturing sector and the increased burden of funding education has crippled our local governments resources to invest in the quality of life and economic development of south Georgia. Fitzgerald has seen her sons and daughters move away in pursuit of finding a job because adequate employment is disappearing.
The time to reinvest in south Georgia is now.If we are going to succeed as a state, then all of Georgia must ensure that South Georgia develops economically. We can do this by developing infrastructure, steering away from policies that hurt farmers, and working together to ensure the entire state prospers, not just Atlanta.
Friends and family, the challenges we face today did not happen overnight. Likewise,we will not solve them overnight. We must work together, building consensus and moving forward with the plans we devise. Cynical attitudes and divisive rhetoric only constrain us.
I hope the DPG & the Democratic Senate Caucus get behind this young Bluedog Democrat & show its support
Check out his website: http://geneforga.com/
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