2 of 3 lieutenant governor candidates speak at Fayette forum

2 of 3 lieutenant governor candidates speak at Fayette forum

A forum for the Republican candidates in the race for lieutenant governor was held April 24 at the headquarters of the Fayette County Republican Party in Fayetteville.

Above, Georgia lieutenant governor candidates Geoff Duncan (L) and David Shafer answer questions at the Fayette forum. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Two of the three Republican candidates participated in the forum. Those included former state Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) and Sen. David Shafer (R-Fulton and Gwinnett counties). Former state Sen. Rick Jeffares did not attend.

Asked his approach to the job as lieutenant governor, Shafer said that, as president of the state Senate, he would fix a legislative process that is broken. Shafer said legislation should be spread across the General Assembly’s session, rather that having numerous bills coming to a vote at the close of the session.

Duncan in his response said he would work to create a culture that rewards good policy over good politics.

A follow-up question asked Duncan if he would preside or rule over the Senate.

“I would earn senators’ trust. Policy over politics has to be the currency that’s rewarded,” said Duncan. “I earned trust in the Georgia House, and I hope to continue to build trust.”

Commenting on his style of leadership, Shafer said he always “led by persuasion” and would push meritorious ideas, Shafer said he, too, led by policy over politics.

Both candidates they would support abolishing the state income tax.

Duncan said abolishing it would result in a more competitive business environment. He said the Lt. Gov. would want to initiate the momentum by eliminating two points off the state income tax.

Shafer said the state should tax consumption, not productivity, adding that a state economy that continues to grow would replace the former state income tax dollars.

Another question noted that the Senate puts out a budget that often mirrors that of the governor. The candidates were asked how they would differ from the custom.

Shafer in response said of the Senate, “As a group you can’t trust them. They will spend what (revenues) they get. So we have to limit the amount that comes in.”

Duncan followed, saying, “The (state tax) dollars need to go back into your hands. ‘We the people’ have the solution, not ‘We the government.’ I want to draw-down the spending.”

The forum was hosted by the Coweta County GOP and the Fayette County Republican Party.

A forum featuring Republican Fayette County Board of Education District 2 candidates Roy Rabold and Traci Fuller was scheduled to be held on April 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fayette Republican headquarters located at 174 North Glynn Street in Fayetteville.

To view the forum online visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmlLUzrS5IA.

Another forum featuring the District 3 Republican candidates for the Fayette County Commission will be held on May 14 at 6:30 p.m., also at the Fayette Republican headquarters.