MOULTRIE, Ga. -- Vance Dean spent the first 45 years of his life in business, but the birth of his daughter, Ellie, brought a new mission: making the world better for her and his three other children.
That’s why he’s running for representative of Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District.
A Cook County and Adel native, Dean is passionate about family and Republican politics (county level and district level). In fact, his first job was putting up Reagan/Bush signs back in 1984.
“I guess I’m dating myself by telling you that, but I put those out in three different counties,” he said. “I had so much fun, I was hooked after then.”
It led him on to become a chairman in both Cook County’s and in the Congressional District’s Grand Old Party. Though it’s been fun, his goal was always to provide a service.
If elected, that service will be growing the district’s job market. He wants to attract industries here.
“We’ve got the greatest farmers in the world here,” Dean said. “We’ve got great agribusiness, but we don’t produce a lot of the products here, we ship them out.”
There are manufacturing opportunities and next to that, Dean believes if more technical schools were built, they’d fill up quickly. Beyond that a major interstate, I-75, runs through a majority of the Eighth District.
These are major benefits that he plans to advertise to businesses on a recruitment drive. As a small business owner himself, he said he and some colleagues are plotting a local investment.
In his own words, he plans to put boots on the ground, be a recruiter, a cheerleader -- whatever it takes.
“I’m going to use that office to grow the place I love -- the Eight District,” he said. “Atlanta gets all the perks and once you get outside of Atlanta, not a lot of it trickles down here.”
Case in point, he added, is Moultrie. The city has a fair amount of business in the city. It’s continuously growing; however, Dean said the city’s organized locally but not in the district. Bringing jobs to the district will need to be a unified effort.
Among his goals also include working on better care for Georgia’s veterans. There shouldn’t be any homeless veterans, he said.
“There’s got to be some training programs out there, some counseling out there available,” Dean said. “I’ll have a person whose sole job will be liaison between veterans.”
Like said earlier, Dean’s motivation to become representative is his children.
Though he has three stepchildren -- Kaylin, Kelsey and Owen -- and his one biological child -- Ellie -- their wants and needs are all important to him. That being the case, better healthcare is an objective too.
Kaylin and Kelsey are Type 1 diabetics. It is a constant struggle as insulin is so expensive, but also a dire need.
“Not to be blunt, but no insulin and they will die. They can’t live without it,” he said. “Insulin has gone up several thousand percent over the last 30 years.”
The same goes for the equipment needed to use it, like pumps. The constant discussions with insurance companies to have affordable help with these prices is something many families are going through but shouldn’t have to, he said.
Dean said repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and replacing it with something better would be one of his first actions if elected.
“We’re not allowing these insurance companies to compete. We’ve only got one that’s really allowed to in our state,” he said. “We need to get every insurance company. I don’t care where they’re from, if they want to take that time and effort to come service us and be competitive in our market, we should give them the opportunity.”
To not do so would be a sleight to small business owners, he said, because if the owner is self-paid, has a smaller policy with a smaller insurance group, they might pay twice as much for a doctor’s visit or prescription.
It will also bring in money quicker to doctors and pharmacies.
So from the school system to business, Dean’s bottomline is to bring it back local because those that live there know what’s best for their area.
Dean did make a move to Atlanta for a time, but for the most part, the Adel native spent his life living and working in South Georgia. He’s a graduate from Valdosta State University, an ex golf pro, and a businessman.
He plans to stay local and hopes to become representative of his home.