Most of the Democratic candidates for statewide office were in Newnan Thursday night during a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
They included Coweta resident Janice Laws, who is running for insurance commissioner, attorney general candidate Charlie Bailey, insurance commissioner candidate Richard Keatley, and public service commission candidate Dawn Randolph.
Also speaking was Chuck Enderlin of Newnan, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 3, currently held by Drew Ferguson.
Newnan City Councilwoman Cynthia Jenkins and House Minority Leader Bob Trammell also spoke.
Highlights of each candidate’s speech are as follows:
• Chuck Enderlin said after the 2016 election, he and his wife decided they needed to stand up and do something, and he decided to run for Congress. Enderlin wants to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He said the Republicans want to turn Medicare into a voucher program and raise the retirement age for Social Security.
• Randolph said she wants to “put the public back on the Public Service Commission.” The PSC governs regulated utilities in Georgia including electricity and landline phones, and also oversees natural gas marketers. Randolph said she has pledged not to take money from utility company executives but her opponent has accepted money. Randolph said she is running to make sure we have affordable and fair rates. She is also very concerned about cyber security as it relates to utility infrastructure.
• Laws has worked in the insurance industry for almost 20 years and has been a Coweta resident for almost 14. Georgia is the highest in the country for car insurance rate hikes, Laws said. In 2008, the legislature passed a law that allowed insurance companies to raise rates unchallenged, she said. Laws said she wants to “rip up that blank check and let insurance companies know you are accountable to Georgians.” The state requires car insurance, and it needs to be affordable, she said. Laws also addressed the state’s decision to not expand Medicaid. She said she is running to stand up for Georgia families and to make sure there is affordable life, car, and health insurance rates.
• Charlie Bailey grew up in Harris County, and was hired out of law school to work in the firm of former Gov. Roy Barnes, doing civil litigation. For the past four years, he has been a prosecutor in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, and most recently headed up the gang unit. The attorney general is supposed to use the law to protect people, Bailey said. However, he said there isn’t a single assistant attorney general working on gangs, organized crime or human trafficking. Attorney General Chris Carr is also part of a multi-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Carr is a nice guy, Bailey said, but he has never tried a case and hasn’t practiced law in years. Before being appointed to the attorney general’s office by Gov. Nathan Deal, Carr was the head of the state Department of Economic Development. Carr's law license was inactive for several years before he became attorney general, Bailey said.
• Richard Keatley said that Georgia is 42nd in economic mobility. He wants to make the department of labor work for workers. Keatley said he wants to protect veterans and spoke about the wage gap for women.