Politics

The Challengers

Three democrats face off against a republican incumbent for a seat in the US Senate
perdue
Photo courtesy of the United States Congress

Sen. David Perdue is seeking re-election after one term in the U.S. Senate. He has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s foremost supporters in the U.S. Senate.

Perdue is a former business executive, working for Sandra Lee, Pillowtex, Reebok, and the dollar general. He also ran a consulting firm in Atlanta before entering politics. He is an Atlanta Native, and Georgia Tech Grad.

Five-Thirty-Eight reports that Perdue votes in accordance with Trump’s position 94 percent of the time. He has historically voted pro-life and has voted to confirmed every nominee Trump has made for cabinet position and judges.

Perdue also voted to aquit Trump of both impeachment charges. According to a January Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, 57 percent of Georgia voters thought Trump’s fate should be decided at the polls, not in an impeachment trial.

Some Democrars have criticized Perdue’s loyalty to Trump. However 51 percent of Georgia voters in the AJC poll say they “approve” or “strongly approve” of how he is handling his job as a U.S Senator.

Editor’s Note: The four democratic candidates will face off in a primary election on June 9th, 2020. The winner of the primary will be on the ballots against Perdue in the November general election.

tomlinson
Photo courtesy of the Teresa Tomlinson for Senate Campaign

Columbus Mayor Teresea Tomlinson has been involved in politics for most of her life.

“My best friend’s dad was in the GA legislature so while other girls were watching Disney movies and having sleepovers we were actually going to town halls and neighborhood association meetings so early in life I respected government as a tool to respect our challenges,” she said.

Because of her exposure to government processes at such an early age and continued passion through life, Tomlinson calls the U.S. government the “greatest civic invention ever known to man.”

However, she was motivated to run for congress because she was concerned about the “level of disfunction” she saw.

“They’re frankly just addicted to the fight. They’re not solving any problems they’re just sitting around fighting with each other,” she said about U.S. Congress.

With a background as federal litigator, Tomlinson said she is used to handling people who are at odds.

In addition to being a federal litigator, Tomlinson was Mayor of Columbus for two terms.

“My job as mayor was to make government work every day. I didn’t have the luxury of shutting down the government to prove some point or to get in an ego battle with someone I perceived as a nemesis,” she said.

Working in local and federal government taught Tomlinson that “government is a tool…and you have to know how to use it at different levels and different jurisdictions.”

Like Amico, Tomlinson will prioritize healthcare as an issue, but “number one, we have got to bring back sanity. People are so unsettled and anxious,” she said.

As mayor of a town in Middle Georgia, Tomlinson says she is positioned to appeal to rural voters, and plans to shave the “margins” in traditionally red counties to win the state.

Overall, Tomlinson believes her life-long experience in government prepares her for this role.

She said, “I’m the only candidate ready on day one.”

amico
Photo courtesy of the Sarah Riggs Amico for Senate Campaign

Business woman and former candidate for luitentient governor said it was an “easy choice” to challenge Sen. David Perdue for his seat.

“None of the stuff I was fired up last year about is fixed. So when Stacey Abrams decided not to run, it was a pretty easy decision for me,” she said.

Amico travelled to “all corners of the state” while running for lieutenant governor in 2018.

“I was stunned not only by the goodness of the people in Georgia but also by the lack of basic healthcare in many places,” she said.

Amico considers healthcare reform a top issue in her campaign.

“Nobody should be poor because they’re sick or sick because they’re poor,” she said.

Her passion for healthcare dates back to early days of managing her trucking company, Jack Cooper Ventures. Amico said that providing healthcare for her employees was important to her, and said she took a salary cut during difficult financial times to avoid cutting corners with her employees’ healthcare.

Amico said this choice contrasted her rival, Sen. David Perdue, when he found himself in a similar situation in the early 2000s with Pillowtex filing for bankrupcy.

“the way we behaved in those moments of contrast are starkly different. For me, we represent very different ideas of how American capitalism should work,” she said.

Alongside managing a company, Amico has two young daughters. She would like to see more moms in Congress.

“Whether it’s reducing child poverty, paid leave, pay equity so many of these rights are at the front of our political debate, impacting women with families. And fewer than 5 percent of the members of U.S. Congress that are women with small children and I think that’s a massive gap. If you put a bunch more moms in congress, we’re not going to be debating things like pay equity anymore or birth control or access to abortion care. There’s a voice that needs to be held,” she said.

ossoff
Photo courtesy of the Jon Ossoff for Senate Campaign

“I may not have a traditional politicians profile. I’m younger than most politicians and I haven’t made my career in elected office. I’m an investigative journalist and I run a company that exposes corruption, war crime, and human rights abuses all over the world,” Jon Ossoff said.

The investigative journalist garnered national attention in 2017 when he ran for the U.S. House District 6 seat against Karen Handel, which became the most expensive house race in U.S. History. That seat is currently held by Rep. Lucy McBath.

But, Ossoff’s interest in politics started long before the House Race. He interned with Congressman John Lewis in high school, and currently runs a media company called The World Investigates, which produces documentaries about human rights abuses and government exploitation.

Ossoff intends to bring the same message of exposing corruption into his political career.

“I’m passionate about fighting corruption, and I’m going to Washington to fight for the people of Georgia,” he said.

If he is elected as a senator, Ossoff wants his first move to be to overturn the Citizens’ United Decision, a supreme court case that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaign ads. Ossoff wants to reduce the amount of money that donors can give to Political Action Comittees (PACs), which are organizations that pool donations for candidates.

Ossoff said it was important to him to challenge Sen. David Perdue for his seat instead of Sen. Kelley Loeffler.

“David Perdue is the caricature of Washington corruption,” Ossoff continues, ““he has taken so much money from PACs he broke federal election law.” Perdue’s campaign was fined $30,000 for fundraising violations in the 2014 Senatorial elections.

Ossoff said he will also focus on taking on the fossil fuel industry and lowering the cost of pharamecuticals. “These are policies that extremely well-funded lobbies have been working for decades to defeat because they threaten the profitability of some of these industries,” he continues, “There’s big money that stands to lose if we do the right thing.”

As the youngest candidate in the Senate race, Ossoff says he plans to mobilize youth voters. He said, “My message for people today is that more of the same isn’t going to work. We need younger people in office.”

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