Election-National

May 13, 2014

Perdue says Washington must change

— With Georgia’s general primary just a week away, U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue visited Dalton on Tuesday as part of a 50-stop bus tour across the state.

Perdue, a Republican, touted his “outsider” status as someone who has never run for elected office before, as well as his business background as former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General.

“We only have about 10 people in the Senate who have any real business experience. When you consider that, it’s not surprising the sort of rules we see coming out of that body,” Perdue told a group of about 40 who gathered to greet him at the Dalton Depot restaurant.

Perdue noted that although the country is technically four years into an economic recovery, many Americans still aren’t feeling the benefits.

“One in five people is either unemployed or underemployed. Last year, 80 percent of the jobs we created were part-time jobs,” he said. “We have the lowest percentage of Americans working today that we’ve had since Jimmy Carter was president. And over 70 percent of small businesses have either stopped hiring or cut back their workforce.”

Perdue blamed excess government for stifling economic growth, singling out red tape he says is imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Obamacare) and the Dodds-Frank banking law, and “regulatory overreach” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He said that as he has campaigned across the state voters have told him they are worried their children and grandchildren won’t have a better life than they have had.

“People are concerned. They know something is wrong and they are looking for an alternative,” he said. “We’ve got to send a different type of person to Washington. I want to go up there and make a difference and come home. I don’t want to be a career politician. I want to be a citizen legislator.”

Dalton resident Frank Barnes said he was impressed with Perdue.

“I am a supporter. I like the fact that he has never held elected office. I also like the fact that he is a proven leader. For instance, when he was with Dollar General they grew from about 5,900 stores to about 8,500 stores. He has created jobs,” Barnes said.

Perdue is one of eight candidates seeking the GOP nod for Senate in Georgia this year for the seat currently held by Republican Saxby Chambliss, who decided not to seek re-election. The others are U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston; former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel; businessman Eugene Yu of Augusta; Marietta attorney Art Gardner; and Derrick Grayson of Stone Mountain.

Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn from Georgia, Atlanta physician Branko Radulovacki, Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckum, former state senator Steen Miles and ex-U.S. Army Ranger Todd Robinson of Columbus are seeking the Democratic nomination for Senate.

The primaries are on Tuesday.

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