COVINGTON — The Republican Party’s conservative principles were on full display at a recent forum for candidates in the 10th congressional district. Ten candidates vying for the GOP nomination gathered at the Canaan Baptist Church on Salem Road in Newton County for a two-hour discussion about their positions on issues ranging from term limits to securing the southern border of the country.
Former Georgia Tax Commissioner David Curry of McDonough, businessman Mike Collins of Jackson, Andrew Alvey of Athens, State Representative Timothy Barr of Lawrenceville, former Congressman, Dr. Paul Broun of Athens, former CEO of DeKalb County, Vernon Jones of Morgan attended the event. County, businessman Marc McMain of Monroe, former law enforcement officer Charles Rupert of Monroe, former military pilot and current Delta Air Lines Colonel Alan Sims of Winder and Colonel at the retired Marine Corps Mitchell Swan from Good Hope. The candidates are vying to succeed Congressman Jody Hice, candidate for Secretary of State.
Although the candidates generally agreed on the major issues, there were some nuances in their positions.
On term limits, Collins, Curry, McMain and Barr signed the U.S. Term Limits Amendment Pledge, stating that they would vote for an amendment limiting U.S. House service to six years. and Senate service at age 12 – three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. .
Jones and Alvey did not sign the pledge, but both said they support term limits in Congress. Alvey said if the field of candidates were to be widened to attract more voters, there would be no need for term limits. Jones said he would be ready to serve on Day 1 and wouldn’t need 15-20 years to get things done.
“The longer you stay, the more drunk you will be,” he said.
Swann said he was concerned that limiting service to 12 years would prevent elected officials from developing experience and seniority, although he said he did not support lifelong politicians.
Rupert said he agrees with term limits, but thinks six years would not be long enough to be effective. He added that he couldn’t stand serving 40 or 50 years.
Barr said he supports term limit legislation, adding that there should also be term limits for bureaucrats “because they end up running our government.”
Broun, the oldest of the group, brought some levity to the discussion, saying, “I’m going to make you a promise today – I’m not going to stay in Congress for 50 years…I have term limits built in. .”
Broun went on to say that the only way to implement term limits in Congress was for states to pass laws for their members of Congress, which would then have to go to the United States Supreme Court.
“It’s the only thing that will ever happen,” he said.
As a key forum question, candidates were asked to name their top two legislative priorities. Their answers are as follows:
As a retired military officer, Sims said his top priority was national security.
“I believe our nation is under threat, and we don’t have enough conversation or focus on it right now. It revolves around us and we let it regroup until we get into trouble.
Sims’ second priority is energy independence.
“I worked as an energy policy advisor for the Air Force, and we’ve all seen energy independence slip away from us,” Sims said. “Today we are dependent on OPEC and all these dictators around the world who cause us problems, and we have lost our mojo…because we are subject to their decisions. We have put ourselves in a position vulnerable.
Collins said he would tackle the national budget deficit first.
“We need to get our tax affairs in order,” he said.
Collins’ second priority would be immigration.
“Immigration consists of many different things,” he said. “It’s ending this border wall, it’s stopping chain migration, it’s stopping China from entering our country. In fact, stop all immigration until we get the situation under control.
Curry said he would prioritize securing the border with Mexico and reducing inflation.
“We saw a 118% increase in heroin seizures at the border, a 38% increase in cocaine seizures. Fentanyl killed 104,000 people last year; just a year earlier it was 52,000.
Curry said inflation was at its highest level in 40 years, noting the cost of diesel fuel is $4 a gallon, down from $2.38 a gallon a year ago.
He also pointed to the escalating national debt.
“Our national debt is $30 trillion. Friends, to put it into perspective… if we paid $40 million a day, every day, for 2,000 years, that wouldn’t be enough to pay the national debt. … We have a lot of work to do.”
Swan said border security and the economy were his top priorities.
He compared the southern border to the hull of a ship.
“We are sinking right now. If we don’t stop this sinking, what good is the rest? We are overwhelmed. »
Swan said the country must bring the economy back to 2019 levels.
“In November 2019, we had the strongest economy in Earth’s history,” he said. “We have to bring this back again. It was only 27 months ago. We haven’t forgotten what to do, but look at our economy today. .. right now, the first step is to grow the economy so that we can grow it more than our deficit.
McMain said border security and law enforcement protection would be his top priorities.
“I want to craft legislation in a way that it’s ironclad, so when we have it in place, whoever the president is in place, he can’t undo border control,” McMain said.
McMain said it was endorsed by five top law enforcement officials – sheriffs and police chiefs.
“I made a commitment to these law enforcement officers that when I am there, I will help them. I also want to come up with legislation that prevents these crazy jobs from funding the police and returning this battleship as well.
“Most of what I want to do, the laws are already there,” Rupert said.
“For example: immigration. Biden just decided he didn’t want that. Legally, he can’t do that. All we have to do is enforce it. The law is already there. What I would do is lead legislation that would fund the building of the wall.”
Rupert also said he would “complete the pipelines and get them back up and running.”
“As a Christian and a father, we are very close to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade. We must ban this heinous practice in our country,” Barr said.
He also said changes needed to be made to public education.
“We have the indoctrination of our children, not the education,” he said. “We need to make sure that we, as the federal government, put an ironclad lock on the division (critical race theory) of our schools.”
“Our foundation in this country is cracking. We have endemic border insecurity, we have skyrocketing inflation. So my first two legislative priorities will be to solidify that foundation,” Alvey said.
“We can’t talk about immigration reform until we secure the border because you have to keep people out and then we can have a conversation about immigration,” he said. added.
Alvey also said term limits are a priority.
“If you have people up there making policy based on their mandate, you’re never going anywhere,” he said.
Jones said his first step in his term would be to introduce articles of impeachment for President Biden and Vice President Harris.
“Why? Because they’re not enforcing the law. That’s the problem we have right now at the border — they’re not enforcing the law.
His second priority would be to take back Congress for the Republicans.
“We need to get rid of Nancy Pelosi, send her home, and send Chuck Shumer home crying. We have to fight, people. We have to get in there and take control of this Congress because all roads lead through the executive branch and who runs the majority of Congress.
“No. 1 is to restore America as the greatest economic power in the world and the greatest military power in the world. We are not that today,” Broun said.
“My second priority is to fight for your freedom and freedom,” he said. …”We need to get rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, the EPA, and other of these alphabet agencies that are destroying our freedom and liberty.”