Jobs, jobs, jobs. That continues to be Brandon Beach's mantra now that he is the apparent winner of the Georgia Senate District 21 seat after Tuesday's special election.
"I'm going to work on what I said I was going to work on before the campaign: Foster an atmosphere that is a conducive environment to jobs, jobs, jobs," Beach said a day after the special election to fill a vacancy created when Chip Rogers quit before he even started what was to be his next term.
"We need lower taxes and less regulation. I said that since day one of the campaign, and that's what we are going to work on," the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce president and CEO – and soon to be state senator – said.
Beach hopes the election is certified before the Georgia General Assembly session starts on Jan. 14. Georgia Senate District 21 includes eastern Cherokee County, Milton and parts of Alpharetta.
"It's a great day," he said on Wednesday afternoon. "We had a great campaign team of volunteers, so it was good to come out on top. I think our message resonated with the voters, and that led to our success."
Beach said a week doesn't go by without him getting phone calls from people in the community looking for a job for a son just out of college, or from someone whose wife or daughter can't find a job.
"We need to really concentrate on growing jobs," he said. "We're not going to do that unless the climate is conducive to do that."
He said the state has too many laws and regulations – "too much red tape."
"I know the Speaker on the House side is looking to cut out red tape and regulation, and we need to be sure we do that," Beach said.
Economic development is very competitive, he said, with many people fighting for these jobs, including North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Tennessee. Georgia needs to be competitive also, but without giving away the farm, he said.
"We've got everything else going for us: affordable housing, quality housing, quality parks, health care, education. All we have to do this is make it very enticing for these companies to stay here and expand, and for other companies wanting to relocate here.
Beach said we are fortunate that while the state's unemployment is 9 percent, in North Futon it's only 6 percent.
"But we still want to get it down further," he said.
Beach will continue to lead the chamber of commerce with his board's approval and, he said, with a great staff.
"I'm not leaving my job in any way, shape or form. I can do both jobs. So it's a good thing," he said.