October 22, 2012

Candidate profile: Grant says jobs, veterans will be top priorities

Charles Oliver
charlesoliver@daltoncitizen.com

— Danny Grant says the federal government can and should do more to bring manufacturing and manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

“I think we should be looking at tax incentives and even quotas (on imports) to help domestic manufacturing,” Grant said. “When Ronald Reagan was president, he saw the motorcycle industry was about to go under. He supported restrictions on imports to help Harley-Davidson, and we can see that worked out well.”

Grant is the Democratic candidate for Congress from Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties. He faces incumbent Republican Tom Graves on Nov. 6. This is his first run for elected office.

“I’ve been concerned about Congress’ inability to get anything done,” he said. “I thought this was a good time to run because this is a new district. I know Mr. Graves is considered the incumbent. But this is his first time running in this district.”

Graves was elected two years ago in Georgia’s 9th District. Georgia picked up an additional congressional district after the 2010 census, and the General Assembly created the 14th District in northwest Georgia, which includes Graves’ home in Ranger.

Grant says he’s asked by voters why he is running as a Democrat in a largely Republican district.

“I tell them that the Democratic Party is the party that gets things done. The last time we had a balanced (federal) budget was when the Democrats were in charge. When Democrats were in control here in northwest Georgia we had a much lower unemployment rate,” he said.

Grant says if he’s elected he’ll align with the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate and conservative congressional Democrats mainly from the South.

“There’s some things about the national Democratic Party I don’t agree with, just like there are some things about the Republican Party Mitt Romney (the GOP presidential nominee) doesn’t agree with,” he said. “I believe people have the right to live the way they want. But I don’t endorse gay marriage. I’m a civil libertarian. But I don’t think we need government to step in there and make that legitimate.”

Grant was born in Chattanooga in 1958. His family moved to Dade County when he was 11. After graduating from Dade High School, he completed an electrical apprenticeship program and has been an electrician licensed in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama for 32 years.

He and his wife Jena moved to Ringgold, where they now live, in 1987. They have eight children.

Grant says veterans and the military will be his top priority if elected. He says he was unhappy to see Republicans defeat a bill earlier this year that would have provided $1 billion over five years to help veterans find jobs.