Meet the senate district 11 candidates

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jan 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-28 18:14:01-05

CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL)--Early voting now underway for a run-off election in south Georgia.

Two candidates are hoping they'll be the one chosen to represent eight south Georgia counties as state senator.

Republicans Dean Burke and Mike Keown are vying for the spot.

John Bulloch stepped down back in December. Voters then decided between six candidates for district 11 in a special election January 8. Now it all comes down to a run-off between the last two candidates.

It's a quick trip to the polls. Just one race is on the ballot but the impact is huge. The person who wins will be one of Georgia's next state leaders, representing eight south Georgia counties.

Dean Burke is a doctor in Bainbridge and served five years on city council.

"I feel like i have that combination of experience work ethic and ability to listen to the people in

southwest Georgia find out what their needs are and translate that in Atlanta."

Former state representative Mike Keown is a pastor in Coolidge.

"I have six years in the Georgia house stepping over into the senate," said Keown. "The people know me. I know them. I'll be ready to go on day one. I think have a track record of not yielding to political influence, the influence from Atlanta or the lobbyists."

Burke says one of his top priorities, supporting farmers.

"They need to have support from the stand point of protecting their water, from the stand point of avoiding excess regulation that can keep them from making a profit," said Burke. "If they can't do their job then all of us will pay more when we go to the grocery store."

Keown says his main focus is public service.

"The issues in Georgia are almost the same every year," said Keown. "They're about the budget, the economy, jobs, education and healthcare. I want to just go to Atlanta and represent the people who elected me."

Early voting ends Friday. District 11 includes Early, Seminole, Miller, Mitchell, Decatur, Grady and portions of Colquitt and Thomas counties.

The run-off election is set for Tuesday, February 5.