Creating jobs is House District 119 candidate Lee Edwards' top priority.

"That's what I find people are worried about, the job situation," he said.

He advocates eliminating business and corporate taxes, noting that small business produces 80 percent of jobs.

The rising cost of college, which exceeds inflation, is a concern to him, he said. He wants to help students who cannot afford college.

"The tuition has just gone sky high," he said.

Edwards also favors an independent audit for all state agencies.

"We need to know where each one of our tax dollars are going. We need to audit the agencies to make sure if there's a problem, we can at least nip it in the bud," he said.

He said particular attention should be paid to education administrative costs at a time when the teachers on the front lines are worried about their jobs.

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This is the first time Edwards has entered a race for state office. However, he studies the Legislature in action. "I'm a little bit of a policy nerd. I watch the Legislature on TV," he said.

He serves on the board of the Charleston Center, an agency responsible for drug and alcohol treatment.

He also served a term on the St. Andrews Public Service District. "With the help and guidance of our staff, we were able to slash property taxes by 26 percent," he said.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.