JOHNS CREEK, GA. – Two state senators, Brandon Beach and John Albers, squared off three years ago for the 56th Senate seat in a hard-fought campaign that Albers won. It left some bitter feelings between the two.
After redistricting and a special election for the 21st Senate seat put Beach in the Senate for the 2013 legislative session, the two Republicans have made their peace. And to seal the deal, the two held a joint campaign kickoff June 9 at the Milton home of political advisor Ron Wallace and his wife May.
The joint fundraiser carried the imprimatur of the sponsorship of Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and close to 100 supporters showed up with their checks. Casey attended the event and praised both men for their work in the past session.
“We have two state Senators who are fighting for the right things. They are representing the people of Georgia and doing a great job,” Cagle said.
Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer was also in attendance to show his support for the two incumbents.
Albers acknowledged their campaign left some initial rancor between the two, but he said that was the residue of a competitive campaign. They have put that behind them now.
“Brandon and I have the same interests and goals working for the same people. Together, we make a powerful team,” Albers said. “And North Fulton will continue to reap the benefits. Serving the people is more important than any one election or race,” he said.
Beach agreed. He said in the heat of a campaign where two men are passionate about what they are doing and determined to win, it’s going to get testy.
“We met and decided to put the past behind us. The job comes first, and now that they are colleague in the Senate, it we have to work for the citizens of Georgia. What we are about is bringing new business to Georgia and create new jobs here,” Beach said.
Cagle returned to his theme that Georgia is a fast-rising player in the recovering economy. He compares the decision in the 1970s to make the $500 million investment to build an international airport in Atlanta to that of expanding the port of Savannah to accommodate the new giant tankers that will be coming through the Panama Canal that is being enlarged to accommodate the new ships.
“It was [then] Gov. Zell Miller’s vision to make that economic engine for the state of Georgia. He encouraged some of the largest retailers in America to relocate to Savannah. He knew that meant their goods from all over the world would want to ship there.
“Georgia will be able to handle close to 10 percent of all containers that come to the U.S. That doesn’t happen by accident,” Cagle said.
Cagle said he was there to support those legislators who understand the importance of economic development and are working for it.