The Democrat running for the District 7 seat in the House of Representatives told a Forsyth County gathering Thursday night that he believes in bringing more balance to the federal government.
“I’m running for Congress because we’ve got to get Congress back to the sensible center,” said Steve Reilly, an attorney from Lawrenceville.
“The United States Congress today is broken … It’s mired in partisan gridlock, in leadership, on both sides even, trying to obtain partisan one-upmanship on the other side.”
Reilly addressed about 30 members of the Democratic Women of Forsyth County during a meeting at J’s Southern Smoke restaurant. He is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Woodall in the General Election on Nov. 6.
The 7th District spans the lower half of Forsyth County, from Cumming south, and a large portion of Gwinnett.
Reilly blamed most of the political standoff on the leadership of the Republican Party.
“Frankly, it’s mired in certain gridlock that’s been pushed by the leadership of the Republican caucus,” he said. “And a number of their younger legislators don’t want to see compromise as part of government.”
Reilly said the U.S. is “too great and diverse a country to be governed by congressmen and women that aren’t able to engage in reasonable compromise.”
“That doesn’t mean giving up your principles,” he said. “It means sitting down with folks on the other side of the aisle … and trying to come to some reasonable agreement about what it’s going to take to move this country forward.”
Members of the group seemed impressed with Reilly, who also serves as chairman of the District 7 Democratic Party.
“He was very effective, knowledgeable and I think he would make a very good congressman,” said Marilyn Beverly, adding that she appreciates candidates attending the local meetings.
“It makes you more personally involved and it’s like you have skin in the game.”
Reilly also addressed what he believes are problems caused by “moneyed interests” that “pour tens of millions of dollars into political campaigns.” He said candidates and voters from all political parties should be concerned by the trend.
Among other issues, Reilly also said he supports the continued drawdown of troops from Afghanistan and measures to spur continued economic recovery.