Candidate Express Interest in Vacant Senate Seat
Although the event was advertised as a candidate forum, it immediately changed into a battle among the participants trying to stand out in a crowded arena for a lone vacant state Senate seat.
Seven out of nine District 28 candidates took part in the forum, which was sponsored by the Carrollton-Carroll County League of Women Voters Thursday night at the Whitesburg Elementary School.
A portion of Carroll County makes up the Senate district.
Two candidates who were not able to attend managed to send their representatives to deliver their prepared opening statements, which is the only way allowed them under the rules of the forum.
All of the candidates wanted to occupy the seat that has been left vacant after Mitch Seabaugh, a Republican from Sharpsburg, resigned and accepted the position of deputy treasurer under the administration of Gov. Nathan Deal.
The only candidate in the race who hails from Carrol County is entrepreneur Wayne Seabolt, 69, who is running under the Democratic Party’s banner. He is proposing to legalize thoroughbred horse racing as a means of boosting the ailing state budget and support education.
Seabolt said, “I want to put 23,000 people to work immediately and it won’t cost the people anything. And before it comes up, I’m opposed to casino gambling. Horse racing has nothing to do with casinos.”
He also said that 70% of residents in Georgia are in favor of the legalization of horse racing. “Why shouldn’t they have an opportunity to make a choice?” Seabolt asked.
He pointed out that horse racing could earn Georgia approximately $50 million, a portion of which could be earmarked for education. He added that it could also help enhance the HOPE scholarship program.