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Governor talks candidly to crowd about his past and Georgia's future

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DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -

It is an election year in Georgia with the top spot up for grabs again.

Gov. Nathan Deal has started campaigning for a second term in office.  The governor spoke to a couple hundred voters at the Briarlake Baptist Church in Decatur on Tuesday night.

He told them about his future plans for the state, and even talked about his childhood as a farm boy, and his faith as a Christian.  "I've tried to make my service and public life be such that it can help people.  And, address issues that are of concern to them," the governor said.

Deal told the crowd the state's economy was in a slump and unemployment was very high when he became governor in 2011.  He said he realized he needed to create jobs by enticing large companies to come to Georgia. 

He said the latest Department of Labor's statistics indicate more than 235,000 jobs have been created across the state.  "If a person has a good job they can provide for themselves. They can provide for their family. They can be charitable in the community," Deal said.  "And they will have less reason to ask or expect government to do things for them."

Deal also discussed changes within the state prison and local jail systems.  His goal is keeping convicts on parole from committing more crimes, victimizing more people and ending up behind bars again.  "About seven of every 10 inmates does not have a high school diploma or a GED," explained Deal.  "Which  means if they get back on the streets, they're gonna have a very difficult time finding a job because they don't have marketable skills."   

He pointed out a newly-hired deputy commissioner at the Department of Corrections is now in charge of education and training for inmates.

Many in attendance at the church say they enjoyed listening to the governor's plans for the future.  But, they also liked hearing him talk about his personal life and his faith. 

"He talked a lot about his faith, how he got started, how he met his wife," Daniel Parker of Decatur told CBS 46 News. "For me that's what stood out because you always hear politicians talk about the political issues.  But hearing about his background gave him more of a human side."

The gubernatorial elections are Nov. 4.

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