Stearns: Negative mailers ‘factual’

My name is Tricia Stearns and I am running for the State Senate in District 16, which is comprised of Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Lamar counties.

Before entering this race, I spoke with people across the district as well as members of the legislature and business community. Then I researched my opponent’s legislative record and everything I saw corroborated what those people were telling me.

I was compelled to run because it was clear that our existing leader was not effectively representing the interests of the entire district but instead has focused on mostly self-serving legislation or priorities that serve a select-few.

As the owner of an insurance agency that he inherited from his father, Mr. Harbin has co-sponsored 11 bills that have to do with insurance. He voted against tax incentives for the film industry, a business that is bringing close to $2 billion in revenue to our area and even more on a statewide level.

He voted against HB696, which updated the existing language to the sales tax and use tax that would help out the new data processing companies setting up shop here in Georgia.

These businesses want to create jobs and our state stands to earn over $3 billion in revenue from this industry. In four years, my opponent has not had an effective voice at the table on transportation. In 2015 he voted against the Transportation Funding Act brought forth in HB170. Furthermore, he has not had an effective voice for anything to do with education.

With a true grassroots approach, I have gained enough community support to run my campaign and have developed relationships across the district to best represent what matters to you.

With my pro-business message, I have certainly received the attention of businesses who have learned more about my work ethic and my ability to get things done. I am feeling the momentum increase going into this primary election and my campaign focus has been to remain positive and get my name out there.

I have seen the mail pieces from the business-funded political action committee reiterating the concerns in this district about my opponent’s record. While the style of these mailers is different than my campaign approach, the unfortunate reality is that the content is factual.

My opponent did get pulled over. He did act unbecoming of a state senator, and he threw his role as a senator into the conversation.

Google “Marty Harbin CBS News” and decide for yourselves whether his behavior was inappropriate. He then misled his fellow senators into passing a self-serving bill, and thankfully our governor vetoed it.

The bottom line is this:

The people in this district want traffic and quality of life to be improved, we want jobs and career opportunities, we want to work on improving support for our teachers and our schools. I intend to be the most effective state senator, connecting people to the political process who have been disengaged by the self-serving interests of my opponent.

It is difficult to run against an incumbent because the nature of our system protects them, even when they have failed to represent the needs of their district. I want to be your senator and work on things that matter to the entire district. Join #TeamTricia and let’s get to work. Vote for Tricia Stearns on May 22.

Tricia Stearns

Peachtree City, Ga.