DALTON, Ga. — Now in his third term as Georgia’s lieutenant governor, Casey Cagle is looking to move into the governor’s mansion, and he made a stop in Dalton on Wednesday as part of his campaign for the Republican nomination, promising tax cuts and job creation.
“We are excited for the opportunity to talk to people about our vision for Georgia,” he said. “We are talking about a $100 million tax cut in the first 100 days. Along with that I want to increase the personal exemption so that the first $12,000 of income would be exempt for a family of four.”
Cagle met with people dining at Cherokee Brewing and Pizza Co. in downtown Dalton.
Cherokee’s owner, Kasey Carpenter, said he was happy to see Cagle visit his restaurant.
“I’m a supporter,” he said. “He’s always been attentive to this area. He knows about manufacturing. I think he’ll be a good governor for Georgia and he’ll be a good governor for Dalton.”
Cagle promises to create 500,000 new jobs across the state in his first term by recruiting new businesses and by cutting taxes and regulation to allow existing businesses to grow.
Earlier in the day, members of the state House Rural Development Council met in Dalton to discuss ways to create the workforce that Georgia needs for the 21st century. One of the issues the council members heard about is the role that college and career academies and apprenticeships can play in teaching young people the skills they need. Cagle said he was glad to hear that.
“Those are issues I’ve been focused on for a long time,” he said. “I helped found the college and career academy network. And the first German apprenticeship program in Georgia I founded as well.”
Cagle said he disagreed with a call by state Rep. Stacey Abrams of Atlanta, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, to remove the Confederate sculpture from the side of Stone Mountain.
“We can’t erase the past. We shouldn’t try. We should try to learn from it,” he said. “If I’m governor, we aren’t going to sandblast Stone Mountain. But we are going to work towards being a more inclusive state. We are going to focus on issues that unite us, not divide us.”
Vallarie Pratt said she came out to meet Cagle.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet. He has certainly been a strong leader, but I want to hear what all the Republican candidates have to say,” she said. “I’m looking for a solid conservative, someone who will do what he says he will.”