Georgia is ranked 49th in the nation for job creation, and the Richmond County Democratic Party held a news conference Thursday morning criticizing Gov. Nathan Deal and the role his administration has played in Georgia’s economic downturn.
“We used to be an economic engine that drove the region. Now, we are nothing more than a caboose,” said Eric Gray, the communications director for the Georgia Democratic Party.
Georgia is one of only seven states to lose jobs in 2011, he said, and has lost 8,200 jobs so far. Deal made promises on his campaign to “kick-start the economy,” but the results aren’t there, Gray said.
“I challenge him to show us where those jobs are,” Gray said.
Formerly an economic leader in the South, Georgia is trailing the rest of the region, he said.
“When did you ever think that we would have to look up to Alabama or Mississippi?” Gray said. Indiana is the only state doing worse than Georgia on job creation, he added.
Gray said Deal should be hiring more teachers, police officers and firefighters, and urging Georgia businesses to create “green” jobs, bringing in federal funding and working to boost the profile of the region to attract more businesses to the state.
Lowell Greenbaum, the chairman of the county party, said what Gray said will play a major role in the next governor’s election.
“It’s shocking that we’re 49th,” Greenbaum said. “Once industries see that Georgia is ranking so low, they’re going to get suspicious that something is wrong with the area in general.”