Editor's Note: This is the first in a series to profile each local candidate running for public office in November. We will ask the same seven questions.
Although Dem. Bobby Saxon has never run for office, he said he believes being a "regular guy" will help him be effective if he wins the race for the 10th Congressional District.
Q: Why are you running for office?
A: I'm 46-years-old, and I've never run for an office. Most of all, I'm a frustrated American who's mad that politicians have no clue what it's like to be one of us. We need regular people with common sense in Washington D.C.
Q: What are your top three goals if elected?
A: 1. Help the economy. With gas prices, high mortgages and the unemployment rate at the highest in years, we need to do something. I have a business degree and have helped run several small businesses. I want to encourage the formation of small businesses and make it easier to get loans for them. We need small business centers in this 21-county district for places like Toccoa and Clayton where someone has a good business idea but lacks the knowledge of how to run a business. The centers can help write business plans, determine how much money is needed to get started and market effectively. Small businesses will give others jobs.
2. Health care. So many in Northeast Georgia don't have access to health care. Some argue the emergency room is for that, but those without health care know it's not pleasant or easy, and most avoid it because of the painful experience. The emergency room is good for true emergencies, but what about a kid who has a stuffy nose? He's not paying attention in class, and how long does that last if he doesn't get treatment?
CONTACT BOBBY SAXONOffice phone: 706-549-2862
Web site: www.bobbysaxon.com
3. Energy. Fossil fuels have served us wonderfully for more than 200 years, but we need a bold and aggressive change, whether it's wind, solar, hydro, biofuels or nuclear. About 10 years ago, people thought the idea of wireless Internet as crazy. Let's look 50 years ahead now. I can't tell you how to solve the energy crisis because I'm not an expert, but you don't put the expert in charge. You need a leader and moderator in charge to listen to ideas.
Q: What are your connections to the University?
A: I grew up in Watkinsville and live in Jackson now. I'm a loyal Dawgs fan. As an '81 grad of Oconee County High, I call Athens my home. About 50 of our campaign volunteers are UGA students, including a law student who is taking the bar and freshmen who just got here.
Q: Why should a University student vote for you?
A: With my attitude toward youth, the future is my focus. Athens is a great place to be a student, but I want people to be excited to raise kids here. The future is about getting involved for the long term, whether it affects someone who's 18 or 88.
Q: How did you get involved politics?
A: My catalyst was the passing of Charlie Norwood, who was the representative of this district. Ten people ran in a special election, and I didn't feel any were as worthy as him. They didn't honestly represent the people of this district, and the end result was Paul Broun being elected. I couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore.
Q: What previous jobs have you held?
A: I own a software consulting company. We help small business set up their Web sites, e-mail, networks and wireless connections. I'm also a licensed insurance agent and co-own a business on Baxter Street with my mom, who was unemployed. That's why I want to help the economy by starting small businesses. I know first-hand how it works.
Q: What is your family and marital status?
A: I have a 15-year-old son who lives in North Carolina with his mother.
Q:What do you have to say about current politics in Congress?
A:D.C. is in denial, both the left and right. They want to live it "my way or no way" where issues are either no problem or we should do something about it immediately. Like handguns - some want to carry them anywhere, and others want to get rid of them completely. We have to get rid of this denial mentality, look people in the eye and say we're going to work in the middle.
I'm a conservative Democrat who can work in a bipartisan world. I don't want to beat up the other party.
Q:What is your military experience?
A: I'm a major in the Georgia Army National Guard. I was in Germany during the Cold War, in the late '80s when the wall came down. It was great to see democracy and peace at work. I then was out of the army for 11 years but went back in at Sept. 11.
I had a conversation this morning with state offices about Hurricane Hannah. I'm part of a hurricane response team that may be mobilized if it hits Savannah. We train annually to prepare.
Q:Tell us more about your personality.
A:This tan on my face is from sitting in the sun Saturday at the Georgia Southern game. I really follow the game and players. I was happy when we were up at the beginning and then just satisfied when we won, 45-21.
I'm an outdoorsman and like to camp, fish and ride four-wheelers with my son. I'm also an advocate of alternate energy for this reason. It's not just the environmental aspect but that I like to breathe clean air and observe nature.
My mom, brother and sister-in-law all live here. My brother is my dearest friend, and he, I and my best friend from third grade all have six season tickets for the Georgia football games. It's about experiencing the game together.
Q:How do you express religious beliefs?
A:I attend Bethany United Methodist on Sundays and Wednesdays. My faith is important, but I also feel our forefathers believed in freedom of religion and individual rights.
The government is run independent of the state, and too many times politicians want to input their religious points of view. I agree with their beliefs, but government is not runt hat way.
Like with the First Amendment, someone can say something you disagree with and someone can burn the flag when you want to beat them for it, but they have the right to do it. Quite frankly, burning the flag pisses me off. I have one I took to Afghanistan in 2004, Baghdad in 2005 and when I flew over the Pentagon in 2006. It means a lot to me, but you don't have to be patriotic to be a citizen here and have rights.
Q:What can students do if they want to help your campaign?
A:In the next 60 days, the future of our country will be decided. Any amount of volunteer help will exponentially moved us forward and get a surge in the end.