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Thursday December 3rd, 2020 5:32AM

Collins tour makes stop in downtown Demorest

By Rob Moore I Video by: Lauren Hunter

DEMOREST – Congressman Doug Collins spent Friday stumping across north Georgia for the hotly-contest U.S. Senate seat.

Friday morning, he visited Toccoa and Demorest. Friday afternoon stops on the schedule include Cleveland, Dahlonega and Dawsonville.

“Being here in Demorest and doing this tour today is really home,” Collins said. “They’ve been behind me, they’re still behind me, and they’re pouring out right now. It goes back to the fact I’m from here, a trooper’s kid from north Georgia.”

Accompanied by Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and State Rep. Terry Rogers in Demorest, Collins encouraged those in attendance to look beyond the millions of dollars in negative advertising and instead focus on who has served the region.

Also attending the rally were former Gov. and First Lady Nathan and Sandra Deal, who Collins said he has known for more than 40 years.

In the crowd were numerous first responders, many of whom were called to duty before or during the rally.

During his talk, Collins said he will never be in favor of defunding police or liberal measures that do not support emergency responders.

“They’ve been supporting us because they know we’ve been there for them,” Collins said. “We’ve been the ones fighting. Instead of just giving platitudes, we’ve actually lived it. The son of a state trooper looking behind me and hearing those radios and those cars, it means the world to me and I’ll always fight for them.”

Black said Collins is a clear choice for him and his family, adding Collins has proven himself in service to the state.

“It’s just so important to have someone with integrity, someone who is a proven leader in this critical seat,” Black said. “That’s why for Lydia and I it was very simple. We’re going to be for Doug Collins. We’ve worked together on agricultural issues. I know what his capabilities are.”

Collins said getting people back to work safety after the Coronavirus is critical.

“Getting our economy back opened up and working with COVID to make sure we’re safe and finding our vaccine, finding our therapeutics, so that we can back into our business,” Collins said. “And giving liability protection so our businesses can open up and not be scared. When you look across this state, but across this country we’ve got to give the assurances that people can get back out and we’re not going to let this virus stop us.”

Black said Collins’ commitment to agriculture is vitally important to Georgia’s economy.

“Agriculture is synonymous with Collins’ service in Congress,” Black said. “He’s been a champion for things that are not direct issues in the Ninth District. He’s been critical to working with us on our guest worker programs and trying to improve that at the federal level. I’ve worked with him on food safety issues. He’s very passionate about having good, solid trade deals for our farmers and certainly that’s important for the poultry industry, which he certainly knows.”

Collins said he believes north Georgians know him and see through the campaign propaganda that has been filling their mailboxes in recent weeks.

“There’s an authenticity gap in this race,” Collins said. “They know one is a Conservative and one is trying to pretend to be one.”

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