Former Congressman Bob Barr of Smyrna was the first to speak and told residents he would work for them, fighting the “forces of evil” if sent back to Washington. Barr opened by telling residents that he was in favor of Stand Your Ground legislation.
“Ever since that trial down in Florida a couple weeks ago — the Zimmerman trial — a lot of folks around the country are rediscovering ‘Stand Your Ground,’” Barr said. “Well, we got news for them down here in the 11th District and in Georgia: We’ve been standing our ground since this country began, and we don’t aim to give up now.”
Barr said standing your ground doesn’t only apply to firearms and confrontations. If elected, Barr said he planned to go to Washington and “stand our ground” against those currently in office there, including President Barack Obama, whom he called a “back-down” president.
“I have the seniority to do that, the experience to do that, the track record to do that. You know it, we know it. Help us out. Send Bob Barr back to Washington,” he said.
State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead) also spoke against the state of affairs in Washington and noted that several officials in Cherokee County, including Sheriff Roger Garrison and Waleska Mayor Doris Jones, have endorsed his campaign.
“They know and I know that we have to change things fundamentally in Washington,” Lindsey said. “That’s what I have worked on so hard in the General Assembly for the last decade.”
Lindsey said he knows how serving in government works.
“I understand that my job as your representative is not to deliver edicts from the Gold Dome or the U.S. Capitol but to take your wisdom and your concerns to the table where decisions are made,” he said.
English-born 11th District hopeful Allan Levene too said things need to change in American government.
“The reason I am here today is because I am disgusted with Washington,” Levene said. “If this (spending) continues we will go bankrupt.”
Levene said he knew how to stop the spending.
“I’m the only candidate here running for the 11th District who has a website that actually has solutions on it,” he said. “It isn’t just a picture of me with a button saying ‘donate.’ If you believe in speaking the truth, if you believe in doing what’s right for America and want to save this country, we have to remove the current crop of politicians from Washington.”
Marietta businesswoman Tricia Pridemore agreed that Washington needs a new crop of officials.
“I am running because I think it’s time for us to bring a fresh perspective to Washington, some new energy that’s going to work incredibly hard on behalf of every single one of us in the 11th District,” Pridemore said.
State Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) said if elected he wouldn’t forget where he came from like many others have.
“The problem we have is a lot of people go, whether it’s Washington or the state capitol, they go with ideas, they get there and they get comfortable,” Loudermilk said. “They quit working the fields, they quit plowing, they quit weeding, they quit fighting against the pestilence.”
Loudermilk said such apathy can’t stand.
“We have to continue to fight if we’re going to win, if we’re going to restore our freedom,” he said.
Woodstock resident Larry Mrozinski said he’s been fighting for years.
“I served nearly three decades in the military,” he said. “I’ve been to nearly all memorable conflicts post Vietnam.”
Mrozinski said among the crucial issues in the election are striking down Obamacare and national security.
To end up on the right side of these fights, he said the 11th District needs leadership.
“Leadership is what I have,” he said.
The forum at Cagle’s Dairy Farm in Hickory Flat was sponsored by the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.