The runoff for the Republican nominee for Georgia Governor is heated, but beyond the allegations and the ads are the issues impacting voters.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle says he knows the major impact tourism and ports have on the Southeast, and right here in Savannah.
“We not only are committed to deepening the harbor, but putting assets to use in the most efficient way and also putting money behind the tourism promotion that we need,” Cagle said.
To do that, the candidate says protecting the coast is non-negotiable for the environment and for the economy.
“I want to make sure that there’s no danger whatsoever,” he said, adding the need for a focus on beach renourishment.
To connect the rest of southeast Georgia to those economic benefits, Cagle says there needs to be better inroads both digital and physical.
But he’s confident he can streamline roads and bridges, even if it means stepping out of the way.
“What we saw with the I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta, is that when government gets out of the way and you incentivize the private sector, you can build a bridge back in 45 days,” he explained.
But there is one area where he plans to partner and get out of the way a little less: education.
“Education is undeniably the greatest equalizer of all and that’s where we need to focus most of our energies on,” he said.
Cagle says he is making headway through the Turnaround Schools initiative which involves Savannah-Chatham Schools as well as his own college and career academies program.
He says the program has a 98% graduation rate and 100% — something he hopes to expand to the entire state by 2020.
Cagle also says his own story makes him a big believer that where you come from shouldn’t define where you can go.
“I know what it’s like to live through a very difficult set of circumstances,” he said. “But the beauty about this country and the beauty about this state is that no matter where you come from you can always end up successfully.”