In the runup to November’s Midterm Election, the Bryan County News will be spotlighting several down ballot elections to inform voters of traditionally less-covered races. We reached out to the candidates running to represent Georgia’s First Congressional District to learn more about their positions on the issues. Lisa Ring is challenging incumbent Congressman Earl “Buddy” Carter. There responses are below.
1. If elected, what issues would you prioritize in the upcoming legislative session?
Carter: I was born and have lived in the First District my entire life. I raised my family here and intend to live here the rest of my life. In Congress, I fight every day for the values that we cherish in the First District: limited government, economic opportunity, and a strong national defense. I will continue this mission next Congress.
First, the primary responsibility of the federal government is to provide for our national defense. In Congress, as the proud representative of every branch of the military, I work every day to ensure our military is the best equipped, well trained, and most highly cared for in the world. That commitment must extend to our veterans. I’ve fought to honor the commitments we’ve made to those who put their lives on the line and to improve our veterans’ health care system.
Next, the best government is that closest to the people. I will continue working to cut federal spending and reduce the role of government in our lives.
Having owned a small business and created jobs, I am keenly aware of what job creators need to expand opportunity throughout South and Coastal Georgia. I’ve fought to lower taxes and roll back excessive regulations to put Georgians back to work and ensure working families keep more of what they earn. I have also fought to ensure our economic drivers – our ports – are properly maintained and that the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project moves forward.
I will continue to work to lower health care costs for Americans. Forcing Americans to buy coverage they do not want or cannot afford is not the way to reduce health care costs. We need to return to a system where insurers and providers compete for patients and restore choice. Government bureaucrats and pencil pushers do not belong in the doctor-patient relationship.
Finally, I will continue fighting to make our communities safer, including securing our border and especially through ending the opioid epidemic in our nation. We are losing 115 Americans every day to this epidemic. I have introduced legislation to help end this crisis, including legislation to evaluate barriers to abuse-deterrent opioids and to make it easier to receive treatment through telemedicine.
Ring: My priority is improving the lives of people in the First District. This involves healthcare for all, protecting our Social Security, funding for education, community development, social services, veteran services, and regulating agencies. Economic justice is a priority to me, so I will focus on living wages, job creation, workers’ rights and benefits, affordable housing, and all aspects of eliminating poverty and protecting the working and middle class. I would also oppose harmful legislation that exploits people and our environment for profit.
2. Would you support legislation that imposes term limits on members of the US House of Representatives and Senate?
Carter: I would support legislation to enact term limits as long as they are across the board and apply to all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. This would prevent the unfair advantage of one district receiving the benefits of greater seniority in Congress over another. Additionally, I believe term limits should be applied to unelected bureaucrats as well. Since coming to Washington I have learned that unelected bureaucrats have power over many decisions that impact the lives of Americans and some spend their whole careers doing this. If term limits are placed on elected officials, they should also apply to many unelected officials.
And remember, voters already have the power to impose term limits. Voters have the chance to reelect their current representative or select a new one every two years in the House and every six years in the Senate.
Ring: I wouldn’t be opposed to reasonable term limits as long as we are also addressing other disparities in our political system and they are part of a long-term plan to hold our elected leaders accountable. We must also get big money out of politics and create a more transparent campaign finance system. This could be achieved through public funding of campaigns, fundraising limits, and limiting or eliminating corporate donations. If we were to limit terms we must ensure we are not hindering legislative progress by legislators who serve the needs of their constituency effectively.
3. What is your position on offshore seismic testing and oil drilling?
Carter: I have always said I support an all-of-the-above energy approach, and that includes exploring offshore energy development. However, moving forward, any energy exploration must be done in a way that does not harm our beautiful coastline. I am committed to working to ensure a positive relationship between increasing our energy independence and protecting our beautiful coasts, marine life, and industries.
I was born and raised in the First District. I raised my family here and took my sons fishing on our coast, just as I did with my dad. The First District always has been and always will be my home, and I vow to protect it.
Ring: The Georgia Coast contains 100 miles of coastline, 400,000 acres of saltwater marshes, 14 barrier islands, and nine major estuaries. At high tide our ocean level rises to seven feet and pushes seawater inland, sometimes ten miles or more. As a result, our pristine coastline facilitates an amazing biodiversity that accounts for an economy dependent on fishing and shrimping, ecotourism, and tourism in general. Risking the health of our environment, its residents, and our economy, would be irresponsible and would yield little to no benefit to our district. At a time when we should be transitioning to 100% clean, sustainable energies, in a district that could be world leaders in sustainable energy technologies that would boost our economy and create thousands of decent-paying jobs, we must say no to opening our shore to drilling and invasive testing.
Learn more about Buddy Carter at http://buddycarterforcongress.com/
Learn more about Lisa Ring at https://www.lisaringforcongress.com/