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Porter throws hat in governor ring
State House minority leader joins field for 2010 election
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State Rep. DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) has announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010.

“This year’s lack of leadership on transportation and personal grabs for power at the expense of the people convinced me to throw my hat into the ring,” Porter said in a release.

Porter has been the House minority leader since 2005 and has served in the Legislature since 1983. He is also an attorney and the editor of the Dublin Courier-Herald.

“After this year’s failure to pass a transportation funding bill by the Republican leadership, it has become apparent that if Georgia is to move forward there will have to be a new vision coming from the governor’s office,” Porter said. “Smaller government is good, but not when its goal is to dismantle transportation, law enforcement and education. These are vital services that must be maintained if Georgia is to move forward with America.

“This session was a final straw,” he continued. “The infighting in the majority party dominated the session. I realized at the state’s Chamber of Commerce breakfast that when the three leaders at the top could not be on the stage together long enough to take questions, the needs of this state had taken the back burner while the quest for power had become their goal. If you walk yourself through what happened this session, it is clear egos trumped policy. It is time for someone to be in the governors office that doesn’t play into ego driven politics. It is not about power for one — but for all.”

Porter said Gov. Sonny Perdue and his leadership team have used the economic downturn as an excuse to dismantle fundamental programs.

“This session we sponsored HB 356, which offered up a way to find an expected $1 billion in uncollected revenue without raising taxes a dime,” Porter said. “HB 356 would have implemented a new point of sales policy exactly like Alabama. This governor and his leadership in the House and Senate chose to turn this money down because it would have funded a lot of the programs they chose to cut. Programs our citizens needed.”

Porter also castigated the governor for cuts to the quality basic education funding and for cuts to funding for law enforcement.

“It is obvious that reduced law enforcement is not a way to grow quality of life,”  he said, “and access to a quality basic education is vital to positive growth. In the immediate future we see job opportunity through services and technology. Our people will have to be able to meet the requirements for these jobs. They also will not be keeping the same job for life, but will have to be able to retrain quickly. Without adequate educational opportunity that will not be possible.”

Porter also called transportation a key to a prosperous future.

“We don’t need to cut MARTA rail to the airport. We need to extend it,” he said. “The message cutting MARTA, when the money is there, sends potentially damaging signals to future investors in Georgia. We have to start thinking of the future.”

Porter and his wife Carol have four sons, Stephen, Guyton, Inman and Asa. His youngest sons, twins, are freshmen at the University of Georgia.

Porter said he realized a Democrat candidate for governor has an uphill climb in a state that has a Republican governor, a Republican lieutenant governor, two Republican U.S. senators and Republican majorities in each chamber of the General Assembly.

“I realize a Democrat will have a hard time in what is seen as a red state,” he said. “However I believe Georgia will look at the issues and if they find a candidate that represents their core values, they will be willing to vote for a change in the governor’s office. My work on the issues will carry me in Atlanta, but according to the pundits from the far right to the far left, it will take a candidate with my core values to connect with those outside of Atlanta.”

Porter joins current state Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former Georgia adjutant general and Secretary of State David Poythress as candidates for the Democratic nomination.