Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black visited Battle Lumber Company Friday, April 22, to tour the facility, discuss the biggest issues facing family-owned industry in this part of the state and to campaign in Black’s race for US Senate.
“We’re calling this our closing argument tour,” Black said. “We’re in a race and the way I look at it I’m in court for 29 more days. And the jury, that’s the voters, they’re going to the jury box on May 24 and they’re going to vote. It's about these kinds of grassroots contacts.”
Black said that his goal is to be a problem solver and by visiting businesses like Battle he is hearing about the issues that are facing hard-working Georgians.
“Their number one through number five problem right now is labor,” Black said. “I think it was proper to help some people during COVID, but I think the paying people to stay home was too much and lasted too long. Now it’s really impaired the labor force on a lot of fronts.”
He said that he is hearing about the labor issue everywhere he stops along the campaign trail.
“One thing we need out of leaders, meaning United State senators, congressmen, school board members, whoever it is, we all have roles in strengthening the fabric of society,” Black said. “That means promoting the work ethic. That starts with the family and one way you strengthen the family is you have a good job.”
He added that he supports a stronger focus on technical education and sees a huge need across the state in positions such as truck drivers.
“You are lucky to have a generational business-like Battle Lumber in this community,” Black said. “If you go to work there you have to work hard, there’s no doubt about that, but there’s a future there. I’m impressed that they have a lot of innovation, a lot of technology there and a commitment to your community.”
Black said that he also believes the mining industry in this part of the state is “severely hampered” by what he believes is an “overzealous government.”
“We want to be safe. We want to protect the environment, but we want to do it in ways that are not with the government on offensive,” Black said. “I think we go beyond our constitutional authority on a lot of those things we do and I’d love to see that pulled back. I think those are the kinds of things it’s going to take to get inflation under way and get to a balanced budget.”
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: US Senate candidate visits Wadley business