State Sen. Buddy Carter visited the residents and staff at Long County’s Coastal Manor nursing home Thursday morning. Carter is a candidate for the U.S. 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Jack Kingston, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Chief long-term care officer for Coastal Manor, Elise C. Stafford, said she invited Carter to stop by the facility as a meet-and-greet opportunity for him, which was their way of thanking the lawmaker for years of support.
“We were working with Buddy long before he was elected to state office,” Stafford said. “He’s been our pharmacist since 1999. About two years ago, he was no longer able to be our consulting pharmacist, but we still use his pharmacy in Pooler. He’s working in Atlanta most of the time since his political career really took off.”
Stafford introduced Carter to residents, staff and county leaders who came to hear him. After greeting and shaking hands with every individual in the facility’s dining room, Carter talked about the four most important issues in his campaign.
“One of the most important things is the ($17 trillion) national debt,” he said. “That’s the economic issue of our generation. The next most important issue is jobs. And speaking of jobs, let’s talk about the economic impact Coastal Manor has had on this community. ... This is the best nursing home in South Georgia, and believe me, I know because I’ve visiting nursing homes since 1980.”
Carter went on to talk the other issues important him and Coastal Georgia, including the military and health care. He said the 1st District includes four major military bases that deserve the support of the communities in which they’re located, including Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Kings Bay Submarine Base in Kings-land and Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta.
He commended the staff at Coastal Manor for the quality care they provide their residents, which has earned the facility awards and recognition at the state level. He called the American health-care system the best in the world and promised to help keep it that way. He especially wanted to congratulate staff members and those involved in their Meals on Wheels program that provides healthy meals for the poor and elderly.
Carter also talked about the growth in Long County, noting that, in just a few short years, the population has grown from about 2,500 to more than 15,000. That kind of rapid growth can create challenges for community leaders, he said. As a congressman, he said he would work with Long County leaders to help solve problems associated with growth.
He concluded his comments by asking everyone in the room to remember the state primary elections are May 20.
“On May 20, I ask for your support, I ask for your vote, and I ask for your prayers,” he said.
Carter’s campaign field coordinator, Phillip Fordham, acknowledged that Carter is leading all the other candidates in fund-raising, in the polls and in name recognition. Carter is running against five other Republicans and three Democrats for the District 1 seat.