Valdosta Daily Times

March 4, 2014

Raines running toward Georgia Senate

Matthew Woody
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — In January, Lowndes County Commissioner Richard Raines announced that he would stick to his promise and be a one term county commissioner. Since this announcement, Raines was approached by a group of local Republicans, and they asked if he would be interested in running for district eight of the Georgia Senate. Raines said he would need time to discuss the decision with his family, and to pray about the decision; after both, he has decided to announce his run for Georgia's Senate.

Raines is a native of South Georgia, and after he graduated from Echols County High School, he received his undergraduate degree in Theology from Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. For his professional career, Raines has spent 15 years in the healthcare industry in the insurance, sales, and marketing fields; currently, he serves as the President and CEO of Innovative Healthcare Solutions of Georgia.

“My professional career will benefit me as a state senator because I know how to create jobs,” Raines said. “In my company, I have created ten new and stable full time jobs in 2013.”

On a state level, Raines intends to encourage economic development for South Georgia by decreasing the dropout rate, improving infrastructure, and offering tax incentives.

As a graduate student himself, education is an important issue for Raines. He plans to reduce the state's dropout rate by establishing a type of punishment and reward system.

“If a student drops out I think, unless it is for medical reasons, or for another serious family matter, the student should have their driving privileges revoked,” Raines said. “On the incentive side, I think that if a first generation high school graduate, meaning one or both parents did not receive a high school diploma of GED equivalent, should receive the HOPE scholarship for any college or university in the state during their first semester. After that semester, they will have to maintain a 3.0 to keep the HOPE scholarship.”

He would also like to see tax credits offered for home schooled students who meet or exceed Georgia State educational standards.

Raines has made it a tradition to make and honor campaign promises, and as he strives for the state senate seat, he promises to not accept any gifts, meals, tickets, trips, or incentives from lobbyists.

“I will keep my door open to anyone representing industries, interested in bringing business to South Georgia, but I will not accept any gifts from them,” Raines said.

Anyone interested in learning more about Richard Raines may visit his website richardraines.com, Facebook page facebook.com/richardraines.

com, or Twitter page @richard_raines. Additionally, they may email him at info@richardraines.com.