Originally created 11/05/06

Georgia Governor race



Question: How would you improve education in Georgia?

Mark Taylor - Democrat

Gov. Perdue has cut $1.25 billion to our schools, causing nearly 100 school districts to raise property taxes. I will stop the cuts to education and make it my No. 1 priority as governor. I will also protect the HOPE Scholarship from unnecessary cuts to books and fees.

Sonny Perdue - Republican

By focusing on the classroom, we are seeing a record graduation rate and test scores. We have graduation coaches to ensure we do even better. We're decreasing class sizes and increasing discipline. We invested $1 billion more in education than the Barnes-Taylor administration and put more money in the classroom.

Garrett Michael Hayes - Libertarian

We need to put control of education into the hands of families, rather than politicians and bureaucrats. I am proposing open enrollment in government schools, as well as an across-the-board system of vouchers and tax credits.

Question: What would you do to lower taxes?

Mark Taylor - Democrat

I believe tax cuts should help all Georgians, and I've got two great plans to do it. First, I will eliminate the state property tax, saving our homeowners more than $76 million per year. Second, I will remove the state sales tax on all medicine including over-the-counter medicine.

Sonny Perdue - Republican

Besides turning a deficit into a surplus, we also provided $2 billion in tax relief. We provided tax relief for seniors, small business, families, and helped create 243,900 jobs. We've announced plans to eliminate the income tax for seniors. As our economy grows, we will continue returning money to Georgians.

Garrett Michael Hayes - Libertarian

I propose the complete elimination of the state income tax, combined with restructuring the state budget to fund only the most vital government services.

Question: How would you reduce crime?

Mark Taylor - Democrat

Georgians deserve safer communities, but now, Georgia has started releasing violent criminals before they've even come close to serving their full sentence. As governor, I will make sure violent felons serve their full sentence, and sexual predators will not get a free pass; they will get the death penalty.

Sonny Perdue - Republican

We are reducing crime by tackling Georgia's most dangerous problems and heinous crimes. The GBI has task forces to crack down on meth and child predators. We also have a unit to eliminate ID fraud by illegal immigrants. And we increased jail capacity by 4,000 beds, keeping violators where they belong.

Garrett Michael Hayes - Libertarian

Violent criminals need to be kept in jail, but too much space is being occupied by nonviolent drug offenders. Replacing the so-called "war on drugs" with treatment will do much to reduce crime that is now driven by the vast amount of money in the illegal drug trade.

CANDIDATE PROFILES

Mark Taylor - Democrat

Age: 49

Hometown: Albany

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, Emory University, 1979; Law degree, University of Georgia Law School, 1982

Profession: Vice president of family's truck leasing and real estate company in Albany

Political experience: State senator, lieutenant governor

Sonny Perdue - Republican

Age: 59

Hometown: Bonaire

Education: Doctorate in veterinary medicine, University of Georgia, 1971

Profession: Founder of Houston Fertilizer and Grain Co., Perdue Inc.

Political experience: State senator, governor

Garrett Michael Hayes - Libertarian

Age: 50

Residence: Smyrna

Education: California State College at Bakersfield, bachelor's degree in religious studies

Profession: Twenty-eight years in the technology industry with various companies

Political experience: Libertarian nominee for governor, 2002