House Dist. 144 democratic candidates share plans to tackle rural Georgia issues

It's the State House District 144 democratic candidate's turn to share with voters, their plans to tackle the big issues in rural Georgia.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – It’s State House District 144 democratic candidate’s turn to share with voters, their plans to tackle big issues in rural Georgia. District 144 candidates are vying for former legislator, Bubber Epps’ seat.

State House District 144 democratic candidates have the same focus, they all want to bring jobs. They expect better schools and healthcare will encourage more businesses to move to rural Georgia.

Gordon Mayor, Mary Whipple-Lue says school mass shootings is an epidemic. She wants to put a plan in place to make sure student’s safety. Whipple-Lue says the expansion of Medicaid  is also needed with more than 45,000 people in the area without benefits.

“Is get with the legislatures and work with them. Particularly with the school board, the newly elected superintendent, and establish dialogue. We’ll work diligently with them to do that,” Whipple-Lue said.

Ex-military man, Gregory Odoms, served 4-years on Twiggs County Board of Education. He says changes needed with the school and health system. When that happens, Odoms says our interstates and railroads can be utilized for welcoming businesses.

“Businesses come in, [they’re] mostly on that corridor line of Monroe County, Houston County, Bibb County. We need someone to be at the table from Twiggs and Wilkinson County to solicitate the businesses to bring over on this side of the railroad tracks,” Odoms said.

Before putting her name on the democratic ticket, Jessica Walden had already worked on broadband initiatives in D.C. Walden says for job and school applications, internet is needed. It’s a key part of her vision, to encourage dual enrollment and more job options.

“To get to that airport or seaport, you got to come right through Central Georgia and so I really believe we have a chance to have a strong light put on us in these rural issues,” Walden said.

Mother of four, Cheyenne Warnock has been behind the scenes with Bleckley County Democrats. She says investment in infrastructure, healthcare and schools is needed to appeal to businesses. Warnock says adding more parks can also make a difference.

“Quality of life is a big issue out here. Many think parks are a luxury. Not everybody benefits from parks, but I think we do. We really need to bring businesses to this areas and as people choose where to bring their business, one of the things they do look at is quality of life. They look at schools and healthcare accessibility.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.