These two gentlemen spoke this morning at the Gwinnett GOP breakfast in Lawrenceville. This was my first exposure to Gary Black and knowing the passions evoked by that race I’ll comment carefully. 🙂
Bill Stephens spent most of his time talking about the photo ID bill and his defense of it in recent weeks. Clearly the rank and file of the GOP support this idea and Stephens should benefit from that. He also mentioned numerous times that he is more conservative than the other candidates. One can only assume he’s referring to Karen Handel, which could foreshadow the battle lines over which this race will be fought.
As I mentioned above, I had never heard from Gary Black before and I know very little about Brian Kemp so I’ll decide my vote after I’ve had a chance to compare the two. Black’s talk of modernizing the Ag. Dept. is of course a good idea, and I suppose all candidates are for it, but he mentioned specifically using technology to improve licence renewal procedures and using online training resources for continuing education requirements where necessary. He spent time talking about security of Georgia’s food supply and wanted the Ag. Commission to have a closer relationship with Homeland Security. Perhaps that’s a good idea but I’ll need to hear more.
Since Black mentioned it first, I’ll assume it’s his top issue in his campaign, and that is the use of alternative fuels. He boasted that his truck uses diesel fuel mixed with chicken fat (a pleasant subject to discuss while woofing down scrambled eggs and bacon) and wants to make Georgia a leader in alternative fuels. He mentioned ethanol only briefly in response to a question but seemed more interested in using chicken fat and other stuff like vegetable oil mixed with gas and diesel. People are certainly interested while gas prices are so high, but I wonder about the feasibility of such approaches when applied to the mass market.
Even though the GOP primaries are months away, the candidates are out there, working hard. Campaign season sure does last a long, long time.