Jobs concern Augusta voters

Some Augusta voters had a common concern in mind last week, six weeks before the general primary: jobs.

Charlie Jimperson, 62

Charlie Jimperson, 62, spent Tuesday morning fishing with about five poles off Riverwalk Augusta. He planned to take his catch back to fellow residents at a downtown high-rise housing complex.

"Jobs, mainly," Jimperson said of the most important thing in the election.

He's not done his research on candidates yet but will, and votes absentee in every election, he said.

"At the end, I try to catch up with them," Jimperson said.

Local improvements, such as Riverwalk and downtown road work, Jimperson said, were some of the best things government has done recently.

"Development," he added.

Louis Carter, 62

Over at Café 209, Louis Carter had just finished his first meal at the soul food eatery with daughter Patricia Carter-Moore (above).

The retired veteran and former truck driver from Hephzibah said he typically votes Republican.

His main concern? "The economy, jobs," said Carter, 62.

"I just see how many people are unemployed. There's unemployment in my family," he said. "Everything kind of works off employment."

Carter said he'll vote for whoever has the best plan for creating jobs, so long as they don't differ with him on issues such as abortion and gay rights.

"I don't think Christian organizations should be dictated to hire people of the gay persuasion," he said.

Chad McClure, 34

"The guy I want to see win is Eric Johnson," said Chad McClure, a Thomson resident and Morris Communications employee who was enjoying pizza Tuesday at Pizza Joint.

Sen. Johnson, former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and Ray McBerry are vying for the Republican nomination for governor.

Even as an "insider" who might face anti-incumbent voter ire, Johnson "knows things from the inside out. He understands the legislative process," McClure said.

David Hutchison, 37

"I haven't paid attention to it yet," David Hutchison said of upcoming elections. "I saw Roy Barnes' (commercial), and I'm sure what's-his-face will run again," said Hutchison, downtown bookstore owner and president of the Downtown Augusta Alliance.

Gov. Sonny Perdue is term-limited.

"That's good news. We could use a new governor," said Hutchison, 37, who classified himself as an independent voter.

He'll vote in the Republican primary July 20. "Typically, I'm looking for somebody who is interested in strong local economies, so anyone who supports strong local economies gets my vote."

Benita Lee, 72

Working out at downtown Health Central, Benita Lee, 72, said she'd soon apprise herself of the candidates, mainly through word-of-mouth at her church, Beulah Grove Baptist.

"After I sit down and listen," Lee said, she'll take stock of a candidate's political experience and prior acts before casting a Democratic ballot.

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