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Candidates state their cases with GHFF
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With the general primary approaching quickly, political candidates are busy espousing their conservative credentials across south Georgia.

The Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation, as part of its annual meeting held Saturday in Springfield, welcomed a handful of office seekers to speak to its crowd, each trumpeting their bona fides.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, the 1st District Congressman who is one of at least six Republicans seeking to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, said his father, a World War II veteran, taught him and his siblings the value of a dollar and the reward of hard work.

“We all started working outside the household when we were 12 years old,” Kingston said. “I started selling basketball programs at the University of Georgia and then football programs. I worked in restaurants. I delivered submarine sandwiches. I delivered TVs. I learned a lot. Libby and I have tried to teach our four children the same values. Those values are worth fighting for. Those values are universal — the values of frugality, the values of hard work, the values of idealism.”

Kingston pointed out he has returned more than $1.3 million in unused office expenses and as chairman of an agricultural committee, he cut $3.6 billion in spending.

“I believe we have to spend our money in Washington the way you do in your household,” he said.

The 11-term congressman said he believes in a strong military and evoked former President Ronald Reagan’s stance — “we win, you lose.”

“I want our soldiers to be the best-equipped, best-trained that there is,” Kingston said. “I don’t want our soldiers, sailors and airmen to ever have to fight a fair fight. I don’t want to kill a fly with a sledgehammer — I want five sledgehammers coming down.”

Kingston also backed building the Keystone pipeline from Canada to the U.S. and continued his call for the U.S. to develop its own sources of oil. He also reiterated his support for the Savannah harbor deepening. The state has committed $260 million to the $652 million estimated for the project, which started back in 1999, Kingston said.

“We spent $41 million studying it,” he added. “The total project started out at $260 million, but because of the federal government diddling around, it’s over $600 million.”

The ports, Kingston said, are responsible for 352,000 jobs and that payroll tops $18.5 billion.

“This is a job project we need in our area,” he said. “We are between third base and home plate and we need to get there.”
Kingston also remarked he has taken flak for his inquiry on having children who earn free or reduced lunches at school perform tasks there.

“I caught a lot of grief because of the comment chores inside and outside the house are good for you,” he said. “I believe in workfare over welfare.”

Kingston said he is running for Senate because of his frustration over seeing good legislation passed by the House die in the upper chamber. He also pointed out that the National Journal has called him the second most conservative member of Georgia’s Congressional delegation, behind only Doug Collins, and the 17th-most conservative representative.

Darwin Carter, who worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Reagan, told GHFF members he will defend their Second Amendment rights. Carter is running to replace Kingston in the 1st U.S. House District.

“We’ve got a serious problem,” he said. “People are trying to take our guns. People are trying to buy up the ammunition. There’s a move to make the ammunition biodegradable, even if you load it yourself.”

Carter, from Alma, was state executive director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, assistant to the undersecretary for international affairs and commodity programs, and assistant to the deputy secretary of the USDA.

“I was his troubleshooter for international affairs and agricultural issues,” Carter said of his time working for Reagan.

But when Reagan left office in 1988, Carter said he never thought he would see the nation “into the pits it has fallen into today.” He also called the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, “a shell game” and that it needs to be taken apart and replaced.

“We have a myriad of problems that must be dealt with, and all of them are intermingled,” he said.

Carter also charged that President Obama is bent on turning the U.S. “from a constitutional government into an administrative state, and he has got to be stopped.” But he also blamed Congress for being complicit.

“The Congress has ceded its power to the executive branch,” he said. “It hasn’t stood up and bowed its neck. This is not an imperial government and it’s time for somebody to say no. We’ve got to get some leadership in Washington to help these people bow their necks. You may not send the most articulate, brightest bulb to DC if you elect me. But I promise, you will send one South Georgia redneck who ain’t gonna take no for an answer. It will not be a lobbyist from K Street pulling my chain.”

Jeff Chapman, a state House of Representatives member from Brunswick, is also running for Kingston’s seat and said he and Carter are the underdogs in the race. He said it’s people such as the ones who are members of the GHFF who are making a difference by getting involved.

“We’re the silent majority. We just don’t need to be silent anymore,” he said.

Previously a Glynn County commissioner and a state senator, Chapman said he has never voted for a tax increase. He also supports the Fair Tax but insisted that taxing isn’t the only issue.

“We can have the best taxing system on the face of the earth, but if you have out of control spending, you’re still going to have high taxes,” he said. “Some people believe government is the solution to the problem. I believe it’s not. If you want more liberty, you need less laws. I’ve been willing to say no to a bad idea for a long time. I’ve been beaten up over it.”

Chapman also said one problem in Washington is that party bosses aren’t there to give advice to elected officials but rather to be asked for permission.

“I challenge you to find a better, proven record of doing the right thing consistently under fire than I do,” he said. “We’re in perilous times. Pray to the Lord that He will send people to Washington to do the right thing.”

Fellow state Rep. Delvis Dutton, a Glennville Republican, recently announced his intention to seek the GOP’s 12th District bid to oppose John Barrow, the incumbent Democrat. Dutton, in his second term under the Gold Dome, discussed his sponsorship of House Bill 100. That legislation would remove the governor’s power to confiscate firearms in a state of emergency.

“It’s an old Jim Crow-era law,” he said.

Dutton, who started his own well-drilling business, also said he used to drive a UPS truck with an Effingham route. He also said his time at the Capitol has been eye-opening.

“There are more people there who want to do the right thing,” he said. “They’re just afraid to do it. The movement I’ve seen in Atlanta is just amazing. I want to take what we’ve done in Atlanta to DC and vote my principles.”

Charles Allen also spoke on his behalf of his brother Rick Allen, also a candidate for the 12th District Republican nomination.