State candidates greet Forsyth County voters at annual GOP cookout

State candidates greet Forsyth County voters at annual GOP cookout

Gary Black, running for U.S. Senate

Since 2011, Gary Black has served as Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, but in 2022, he is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.

On Friday, Black touted his work responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, work with the federal and state agencies and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

After gains from Democrats in the 2020 election, Black said next year will be an opportunity to turn the tide back to Republicans.

“When we look at the challenges before us that is before us with this wave, I wonder if in Forsyth County tonight, are y’all ready for this wave to stop,” Black asked the crowd. “This wave must stop. It starts with one United States Senate seat, Georgia’s seat.”

David Belle Isle, running for Georgia Secretary of State

David Belle Isle, who served as mayor of Alpharetta from 2012 to 2018 before seeking the Georgia Secretary of State seat in 2020, said he will once again be running for the seat and that his experience as a mayor will serve him well in the role.

“As the former mayor of Alpharetta, the largest Republican city in the state of Georgia, I am proud to be offering myself again for the worst job in politics, but probably the most important job in politics as it stands right now in 2021,” he said. “Here’s the thing, when I ran the city of Alpharetta, I ran a city that is larger than the office of secretary of state in terms of budget, in terms of personnel, in terms of discipline, and we accomplished some amazing things.”

Vernon Jones, running for governor

Vernon Jones, a former Democratic lawmaker representing state District 71 from 1993 to 2001 and state District 91 from 2017 to 2021, said he switched parties in January after a meeting with former President Donald Trump.

“I came to the Grand Old Party on Jan. 6, on the same stage as President Trump, but I didn’t come to the Grand Old Party just to be a member,” “I came to the Grand Old Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of abolition, the party of Frederick Douglas, the party of Ronald Reagan, the party of many of us, but I came not to be a member, but to bring new ideas, to bring new opportunities and bring new people.”

Jones said he also supported an audit of the 2020 election, was against companies like Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball who had raised issues with SB 202 and said he would be a fighter for Georgians if elected governor. 

Bubba McDonald, for Gov. Brian Kemp

Gov. Brian Kemp, who is seeking re-election, was also among candidates who were not able to attend the event on Friday, and instead, Bubba McDonald, a public service commissioner, said as the election heats up, voters need to look at what candidates have done so far.

“Look at people as what their track record is,” McDonald said. “I would hope that our candidates, whatever the office is, will run for the office, establish their platform, tell you and me what they’re going to do… We want our governor to be governor, and I want to know what the governor is going to stand for. 

“So, what I’m going to do, I’m going to look at where he came from,” McDonald said. “I’m going to look at his track record, I’m going to see what his Georgia politics [have been] but the main part of that is how does he run his business, how does he run the state of Georgia?”

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