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Ralston visits Rotary Club
House speaker starts southeast Georgia tour
102212 ROTARY RALSTON 01
Georgia House Speaker Dennis Ralston speaks Monday at the Rotary Club of Statesboro at the Forest Heights Country Club. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, made a stop in Statesboro Monday to stump for a local state representative and offer a brief state-of-the-state presentation.
    The Rotary Club of Statesboro, in a regular meeting at Forest Heights Country Club, hosted Ralston as he and several Republican legislators launched a tour of the southeast part of the state.
    “What we’re doing here today is beginning a trip to several cities to visit some of our members who still have a little work to do in the election cycle,” Ralston said. “You have some pretty good leaders in your
delegation locally. We
wanted to come here today to be with Jan Tankersley.”
    Tankersley, R-Brooklet, represents a House district that includes the eastern and southeastern portions of Bulloch County.
    She is being challenged in the Nov. 6 general election by Democrat Marc Silver.
    “Jan is truly one of the rising leaders in the House of Representatives. She has done a tremendous job,” Ralston said. “I value her leadership, and her advocacy for this part of the state is unparalleled.
    “I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. I’m just going to tell you that if I lived here, I’d vote for her,” he said.
    Ralston shifted gears for the second half of a quick address.
    “I want to tell you about some of the things that I am proud of that we’re doing in Atlanta,” he said.
    The speaker mentioned a recently reformed tax code that, he feels, has attracted thousands of jobs to the Peach State.
    He listed a new Caterpillar plant in Athens-Clarke County, a Baxter International Facility near Newton County, and Statesboro’s Great Dane plant as evidence.
    “We are having a lot of good things happen all over Georgia, and I think it is a response to having a job-friendly tax policy and a job-friendly business policy,” Ralston said.
    He also talked education, calling Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College “crown jewels” of the system.
    “One of my passions is higher education. I think we have the finest system of higher education of any state in the nation here in Georgia. I think people are now recognizing that,” he said. “Higher education is one of our real calling cards here in Georgia. I’m really proud of that, and we’re going to continue working to make sure the investment we’ve made in education continues to pay off in the future.”
    Ralston wrapped the presentation by expressing his support of a proposed expansion to the Savannah port and by saying he is “excited about Georgia’s future.”

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