Gubernatorial candidate Davis discusses economic development

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, January 21, 2010

It’s less than a month into the new year, and many people are beginning to focus on upcoming elections.

Luverne residents got a first-hand look at one gubernatorial candidate last Thursday when congressman Artur Davis came to town.

When Davis spoke at the Crenshaw County Cultural Center, one of his main focuses was industrial and economic development, particularly in rural counties.

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“In June of 2008, our statewide unemployment was 4.8 percent,” he said. “Our last numbers put that at 10.89 percent.”

“One question is ‘What is our new vision?’”, Davis asked.

Davis explained that in the past, we’ve had visions of space in the Huntsville area in the 1950s, and also expansion in the area of automotive production with Mercedes-Benz in Vance and Hyundai in Hope Hull.

One of Davis’s plans to help rural areas would be setting up a cabinet to monitor impact and evaluate state policy relating to smaller towns.

“I want to see a move to tie transportation dollars to economic development,” Davis said. “Our rural communities are suffering from the distribution of transit dollars.”

“We want to focus more on smaller communities,” he said.

Davis also touched on a number of other issues, including schools, where he sees dropout rates as a problem and advocates more support for after-school programs and vocational programs, and gambling.

“I am for every community getting to decide what’s good for you,” he said. “Many people believe gambling is immoral. That’s for the community to decide. However, gambling should be taxed.”

Davis closed with a pledge to try to overcome the political party rifts that have plagued the state and the nation.

“If we win this election, I will represent the entire state,” he said.