Thank you, City of Dalton.


I will go to Atlanta tomorrow to qualify as a candidate for governor of Georgia, officially ending my term as mayor of Dalton.


Serving you as mayor for the past six years has been a true honor and privilege.


You elected me because of our shared belief that limited government is better government; and in the last six years, we proved the validity of that


General property taxes have been cut by 28 percent, general fund spending reduced significantly and the general fund surplus increased over 50 percent. Our community’s quality of life has been enhanced with our new community center, million-dollar investment in historic preservation, and expanded recreation spaces.


I am grateful for all those who worked with me to achieve these results — City Council members, city employees, business leaders and volunteers.


Today, we all can be proud that Dalton is fiscally sound and boasts a competitive tax structure.


While our city is thriving, our state as a whole is not. With the fourth highest long-term unemployment rate and the fifth highest poverty rate in America, Georgia needs significant and immediate improvement.


Even though Georgians’ paychecks are at 1979 levels, state government has increased spending four years in a row, raised taxes and cut school funding.


Just as with Washington, we can clearly see with state government how expanding government’s reach escalates a dependence that drives a cycle of poverty.


I am running for governor to end that cycle and advance bold policy changes to return Georgia to prosperity.


I am running for governor to ensure state government spends less, taxes less, and stays out of the way of new and growing businesses — just as I did as mayor.


I am hopeful that you all will work with me to achieve these plans.


I thank you again for the trust you have placed in me as your mayor and look forward to continue serving the public in new capacities.