Barr, Loudermilk tussle in District 11 runoff
by Jason Lowrey
Jun 29, 2014 | 2361 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With early voting starting Monday, voters will be able to have their say in who will represent Georgia’s District 11 in the U.S. House.

Republicans Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk are the two candidates left after the May 20 primary narrowed the field. As there is no Democratic candidate in the race, the July 22 runoff, and the weeks of early voting prior to it, will decide who goes to Congress.

Barr previously served in the House, representing Georgia District 7 from 1995 to 2003. Loudermilk served in the Georgia Legislature, representing State Senate District 14 before resigning to run for the Congressional seat.

The District 11 seat opened when Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey declared he would not seek re-election to the House as he was running for Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat. Chambliss had announced his retirement, saying he would not run for re-election to the Senate.

For more information on early voting, visit the Georgia secretary of state’s website: www.sos.ga.gov.

Name:Bob Barr

Occupation: Attorney

City of residence: Smyrna

Age: 65

Website: www.barrcongress.com

Why did you decide to run for the Georgia District 11 Congressional seat?

I am running to return to the U.S. House because I love this country too much to watch the damage being done in Washington from outside the arena. I have been in the arena. I have fought for a balanced budget, tax reductions, and meaningful regulatory reform; and I was part of the team that succeeded in achieving those results. It can be done. I have the experience, drive, and desire to help do so again.

What is the most pressing issue facing District 11?

Jobs. It is essential that we rebuild the foundation of America’s economy based on the principles of free enterprise, hard work and innovation; I will be in a strong position to do this with eight years of seniority.

More specifically, the 11th District is home to over 7,000 Lockheed Martin employees. In 2005, Congress authorized another round of Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) to take place in 2015. If the wrong person is in Congress, it could severely hinder the district economically and militarily.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing the United States and how should they be addressed?

Electing someone to represent us in the House with experience and a track record to actually move our conservative agenda forward; not simply talk about it.

Working to (once again) cut the deficit and balance the federal budget.

Truly begin the process to fundamentally reform our tax system.

Although the Senate has passed an immigration reform bill, the House has yet to follow suit. What is your stance on immigration reform and how it could be carried out?

Immigration reform must start with securing our borders. This, however, does not mean simply throwing money at the problem as the recent Senate-passes “immigration reform” did. It means strengthening border and military presences at border crossings and ports of entry; using smart technology and trained personnel to patrol the border areas; and physical measures in those areas when appropriate. Regarding the ongoing crisis with tens of thousands of children, teenagers and adults flooding across the border with Mexico, we must demand our Border Patrol and other enforcement personnel on the front lines enforce our laws and not provide aid and comfort to these masses of illegal aliens. We also must demand our government send them back to Mexico and demand that the Mexican government take responsibility for what is happening on its side of the border. We must stop sending these illegals to communities across America as Obama is doing.

Considering Syria’s ongoing civil war and Iraq showing signs of slipping into a similar conflict, what do you believe America’s policy should be in the Middle East?

Right now, there is no U.S. policy whatsoever in the Middle East. The U.S. must stop arming groups in Syria that are in cahoots with ultra-violent Islamic groups in Iraq. We need to take limited military action (no boots on the ground) in order to stop U.S. military equipment and ammunition that we give to Iraq from getting in the hands of these ultra-violent Islamic groups. We need to protect our contractors in Iraq instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. We need to keep pressure on Iran, so they do not develop nuclear weapons; and, we need to continue our strong and consistent support for Israel.

What is your opinion on gun control on a national level?

I support the 2nd Amendment and oppose efforts to restrict firearm ownership for law-abiding citizens. I have been a Board Member of the National Rifle Association since 1997, and have always received an A+ rating from the NRA during my service in the House.

In fact, just last week, the NRA sent me a letter declaring:

“On behalf of our five million members across the country, we are pleased to inform you of your “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) in the July 22nd, 2014, Republican Primary runoff in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District.”

Though the American economy is considered to be officially out of a recession, economic growth and hiring have remained flat. What policies would you support to improve the country’s economy?

Reduce individual and corporate income taxes to encourage economic growth. Cutting corporate taxes to create jobs, and lowering capital gains taxes to incentivize reinvestment in our economy, will pay great dividends now and in the future.

What is your opinion on the changing Republican leadership in the House of Representatives?

My opponent has proclaimed publicly he does not support the House Republican leadership and would vote against John Boehner as speaker if he were elected. Taking such a position before he is even elected is irresponsible. It diminishes greatly whatever influence my opponent would have in the House if he were elected, and it does what Democrats delight in doing — driving wedges within Republican ranks. Decisions on party leadership are responsibly made after you are elected, and any dissension kept within the party; Ronald Reagan understood this, my opponent does not.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

Using my seniority and experience to investigate ongoing scandals … particularly those involving the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Veterans Administration (VA). Also, using my seniority and experience on the Financial Services Committee to rein in Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

With early voting beginning June 30, and the runoff scheduled for July 22, what do you want Bartow County voters to know about you and your campaign?

I want the voters in Bartow County to remember that I represented them for eight years (1995-2003), during which time we balanced the budget and cut taxes, protected our 2nd Amendment rights and fought against increased government power. I held numerous town hall meetings in order to stay current on, and help resolve, problems in Bartow. I will return to the House in January 2015 with the experience and eight years seniority to once again help all citizens of Bartow County.

Name: Barry Loudermilk

Occupation: IT Services

City of residence: Cartersville

Age: 50

Website: StandwithBarry.com

Why did you decide to run for the Georgia District 11 Congressional seat?

This is the most critical time in American history and what happens in the next two to four years will determine whether our children will have a future that is free, safe and full of opportunity.

I am running because our children and grandchildren deserve a better America than what we are passing on to them.

What is the most pressing issue facing District 11?

There are several issues facing the 11th Congressional District, but one that has had significant impact on many businesses is the closure of most of our locally owned community banks. Due to the over-regulation of the financial services industry, through the passage of Dodd-Frank, the FDIC has forced the shutdown of most locally owned banks. Many of these banks were the financial lifeblood of small businesses in our communities. The few remaining lending institutions are now facing so many restrictions on their lending practices, many small businesses are finding it very difficult to get access to the capital they need to operate or expand their business.

We must begin to loosen the regulatory grip of the federal government that is strangling our local economies by repealing some of the most egregious provisions of Dodd Frank that are prohibiting the establishment and growth of locally owned community banks.

What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing the United States and how should they be addressed?

By far the most pressing issue we are facing in the United States is an almost $18 Trillion debt. Congress must take immediate and decisive action on paying down this debt or America will be in risk of a complete financial meltdown within the next few years. The debt is not only creating uncertainty, which is restricting the growth of the economy, but it has become a national security threat. Just in the past fiscal year, the interest payment alone was enough to buy over 2,700 brand new F-35 fighter jets, at a cost of $151 million each.

This administration has significantly cut our military in order to increase social programs and make the minimum interest payments on the federal debt. Just recently, Russia has pulled many of their Cold War-era bombers out of mothball and they are patrolling off the coast of the United States. However, due to budget cuts, our Air Force pilots are not allotted enough fuel to stay proficient in their aircraft and are being forced to train in simulators.

We must force Congress into a balanced budget and direct any surplus revenues to pay down the debt.

Although the Senate has passed an immigration reform bill, the House has yet to follow suit. What is your stance on immigration reform and how it could be carried out?

Immigration must be controlled and sustainable. It should benefit America while protecting American workers and wages. I believe that the heart of our immigration problem is that we do not control our own borders and we do not enforce the laws that are already on the books. We must also totally reform our legal immigration system and institute a temporary guest worker program, where immigrant workers are allowed to enter the country to work on a temporary basis, we know where they are and they return home when their temporary employment tenure is over.

Considering Syria’s ongoing civil war and Iraq showing signs of slipping into a similar conflict, what do you believe America’s policy should be in the Middle East?

I believe any military action anywhere, by our armed services, should always be weighed very carefully to determine whether there is a direct threat to American citizens, American interests or our allies. I do not believe American forces should be involved in the civil wars of other nations unless there is a direct threat to our national security or the safety of American citizens.

What is your opinion on gun control on a national level?

According to the original intent of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, neither the Congress nor the federal government has the authority to make any law or policy that in any way infringes upon the right of the people to purchase, obtain, keep or bear firearms. The founders were clear that this authority, according to the Tenth Amendment, was left entirely to the state legislatures.

Though the American economy is considered to be officially out of a recession, economic growth and hiring have remained flat. What policies would you support to improve the country’s economy?

We must first begin to reduce the financial burden the federal government is placing on our businesses through massive over-regulation, burdensome taxation and poor public policies such as Obama Care. We must also pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which would force Congress to live within its means. This would to help bring stability to the economy while serving as a catalyst for many other measures that would add to increased economic freedom and growth. Tax reform, welfare reform, cutting the size and scope of the federal government.

What is your opinion on the changing Republican leadership in the House of Representatives?

I believe America is ready for a new approach to the proven conservative principles that made America the greatest nation on earth. I believe there is value in the knowledge of some who have been there in the fight. The combination of the existing knowledge of a few and the bold determination of a new class of constitutional conservatives could prove to be just the right mix we need to begin implementing real reforms and getting our nation back on track.

Once in office, what will be your top priority?

Legislatively there are many things I will begin to work on, such as the Balanced Budget Amendment, tax reform, etc. However, my top priority out of the gate will be to continue a process I’ve already started, which is to build relationships with other members of Congress who are already fighting to reduce the size, scope and impact that an out of control federal government has on the people. No one can accomplish these daunting tasks alone, and it takes several dedicated individuals working together to accomplish anything in Congress.

With early voting beginning June 30, and the runoff scheduled for July 22, what do you want Bartow County voters to know about you and your campaign?

I have always stood firm for the values of faith, family and freedom when Bartow County has honored me with the opportunity to represent them in the Georgia General Assembly, and I will continue to stand firm and consistently fight for the values we share.