Getting to Know the District 2 Candidates

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Richard Raines, a Senior Cardiovascular Specialist and Debra Franklin, a student seeking her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Amridge University are fighting for the Lowndes County District 2 seat.

They also have different views on the best way to tackle one of Lowndes County's biggest problems... a high unemployment rate.

"Any community when they talk about bringing in jobs, I would like to see us focus on the most recession-proof jobs that are available in any economy," said Raines.

August marked the 35TH consecutive month Georgia exceeded the national unemployment rate at ten percent.

The Health Care sector is one of the largest and fastest growing in the U.S. economy. Raines says investing in the health care industry in Valdosta could be one of the keys to helping the economy grow.

But Franklin adds a public transportation system could also help alleviate those problems.

"A lot of times they don't have the transportation to secure permanent employment, which means can't afford a car so it becomes a cycle, I can't get a job because I don't have a car, I can't get a car because I don't have a job," said Franklin.

Lowndes County doesn't have a public transit service running but Franklin believes it could be just what the community needs to jump start the employment rate to drive it in the right direction.

But one of the area's biggest obstacles and one of the most talked about topics is a biomass plant that could move into the area. It's a topic both say no to but for different reasons.

"We should look on the return on the investment, how much is it going to cost? How many jobs is it going to bring in? I don't think the biomass plant has the payoff that we need now," said Raines.

"I'm against the biomass plant, because I feel like if it's a threat to any community in Lowndes County, It's a threat to every community in Lowndes County," said Franklin.

And while the candidates are fighting for the community.

It will be the voters who will make the final decision.

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