Pridemore, of Marietta, resigned her position as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development earlier this year to run for the 11th Congressional district seat being vacated by Gingrey (R-Marietta).
“I definitely think Gov. Deal has done a good job on behalf of the state,” Pridemore said. “I know that on May 20 when I go to vote I’m voting for Nathan Deal because I believe he’s done a good job, I believe he’s earned a second term, I believe that we have experienced economic improvement. I know in my case we’ve worked very hard to right size some federal programs, and I know that as a leader he has a very good, calming temperament, and I like that in someone, I like that in someone that is going to be responsible for the 33rd largest economy in the world.”
Pridemore referred the MDJ to Deal’s office to answer whether the governor would actively support her campaign.
Tom Willis, executive director of Deal for Governor, said Deal considers all Republican candidates for the 11th Congressional district “partners in advancing his pro-jobs, pro-family agenda.”
Willis said, “Tricia Pridemore is a great friend of the governor, and she served Georgians well as head of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. He looks forward to working with our nominee to keep the Georgia delegation strongly conservative.”
Although some believe there is civil war raging within the Republican Party with the tea party faction on one side and the establishment Republicans on the other, Pridemore doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think so,” Pridemore said. “I think if you go to the Cobb County Republican Party Saturday breakfast you see folks from all walks of life, all genders, all dispositions.”
Dalton Mayor and gubernatorial hopeful David Pennington recently ripped Deal for allowing Georgia to be the most expensive state in the union to operate a motor vehicle. Pridemore defended Deal.
“I think if you look at his conservative record and how he has cut the energy tax for manufacturers, that’s helped promote job growth,” she said.
Spying on Americans
There is no question to Pridemore that the National Security Agency was “caught spying” on Americans.
“I think the practices of the NSA and the surveillance program are not in line with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, it’s not,” she said.
Yet Pridemore does not support the actions of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who blew the whistle on the agency’s broad-based data collection program on every American that uses a computer or a cell phone.
“He’s proven that he’s not an American patriot,” she said. “He’s a friend of Comrade Putin, and at the end of the day, I don’t see that he is to be heralded for any of his actions.”
Turning to education, Pridemore believes the controversial Common Core State Standards Georgia has in place, and which are supported by Deal, should be repealed.
“I believe in standards, and I definitely believe in classroom standards, but I think decisions that get made need to be made at the local level between parents, teachers, administrators that work closely with the children they’re there to support and they’re there to educate, so I think that, fundamentally, standards are a good idea, but that’s not the answer,” she said of Common Core.
Speaking of the change in America’s relationship with Iran, Pridemore said Iran is a country that continues to thwart U.N. weapons inspectors.
“I tend to be on the side that we don’t need to sit down and talk with them, we need to enforce existing sanctions, we need to make them come clean with U.N. weapons inspectors and make sure we’re seeing every facet of their nuclear program, and at the end of the day, I want to see Iran shut down the nuclear program.”
Pridemore said she doesn’t see much difference between the new president, Hassan Rouhani, and the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“The Ayatollah really still controls the country from top to bottom, and I think that Israel has to do every thing that it can to protect itself, and I think the United States needs to stand with Israel,” she said. “They are our strategic ally in that region, they are a freedom-loving people, they are a democracy, and we need to uphold our peace treaties that we’ve worked on over the years and our influence in the establishment of that country since 1948.”
Pridemore supports the U.S. House’s bill defunding Obamacare. She described it as an effort to shut down Obamacare, not the federal government.
“The House Republicans did their job, they sent it over to the Senate, and now it sits in the hands of President Obama and Harry Reid to see if they’re going to do what’s in the best interest of the American people,” she said.
Nearly two decades ago, Pridemore and her husband, Michael, started a marketing automation software company in the guest room of their home, growing the business into a multi-million dollar organization servicing some of the nation’s leading Fortune 500 companies among others.
Born in Hamilton, Ohio, Pridemore, 41, moved with her family at the age of 10 to Orlando, Fla. She and her husband moved to Marietta in 1995. In 2011, Pridemore challenged and lost to incumbent Sue Everhart for chairwoman of the Georgia GOP.
“I’m a Republican because I believe in ideals, and I believe in the philosophy of smaller government, more individual freedom,” Pridemore said. “The Republican Party must be a big tent to survive, and it has to be powered by ideas and those ideas at their very fundamentals have to be the conservative government philosophies of a smaller government, more freedom.”