by WHITLEY CLIFTON
A Meet and Greet event with U.S. Senate Candidate Gary Black was held at 9:30 a.m. at the fountain in Downtown Swainsboro last week. The hour-long event began at 9:30 a.m. and gave opportunity for Black to share his platform with the local community and answer any questions pertaining to his ideas for office.
Black, a Jackson County cattle farmer and Republican politician, spent 40 years in the farm business. He obtained his bachelor's degree in agricultural education from the University of Georgia in 1980. His political career began eleven years ago when assuming office as Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, a state executive position. Black first assumed his role as Commissioner in January 2011 after winning the November 2010 election. The Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture heads the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for regulating and promoting Georgia's agriculture industry. Like many Georgia state executive officers, the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture is elected to four-year terms that take place during federal midterm election years. Since taking office in 2011, Black has secured his chair in office, winning re-elections in 2014 and 2018.
Prior to his tenure as Commissioner, Black was the elected president and lobbyist for the Georgia Agribusiness Council, a position which he served for 21 years. In addition, he also co-managed the Georgia Food Industry Partnership for 13 years and served as a field representative in the Georgia Farm Bureau.
The filing deadline for voting was March 11, 2022. The primary election for U.S. Senate is scheduled for May 24, 2022. A primary runoff will follow on June 21. The general election for U.S. Senate is set for November 8 and the runoff for the general election of office has been planned for December 6. The election will fill the Class III Senate seat currently occupied by Democratic politician Raphael Warnock. With Georgia being rated a Battleground Democratic state, Black is one of six republican candidates on the May 24 primary ballot. Completing the list of other republican candidates seeking election to office are Josh Clark, Kelvin King, Jonathan McColumn, Latham Saddlers and Herschel Walker. Democratic candidates submitting bids for office in the May primary election are Incumbent Raphael Warnock and Tamara Johnson-Shealey. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver and Conservative politician George Litchfield will be included on the November 8 General election ballot for U.S. Senate.