FORSYTH COUNTY — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced Monday he would seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. However, the road from Cruz’s Texas to Washington, D.C., will have to run through Georgia.
Forsyth County resident Maria Strollo Zack is the founder of the Stand for Principle political action committee, or PAC.
“Stand for Principle is a super PAC that is devoted strictly to electing Ted Cruz President,” Zack said.
“… We’re very excited that a courageous, bold leader who believes fundamentally in the principles of our constitution is willing to step up and run for president. And we know he will make an outstanding president.”
At first glance, Cruz’s connection to Georgia may seem a bit curious. But in 2014, he campaigned for both Gov. Nathan Deal and David Perdue, who eventually won the U.S. Senate race.
Zack said that Cruz’s Georgia connections go back to college, when he roomed with the co-founder of Navigation Partners Capital Inc., an entertainment consulting firm in Atlanta.
“Sen. Cruz has a best friend from college days named David Panton,” Zack said. “David and I for a year have been contemplating ways that we could show the senator the massive support that he has across the country of people yearning for the best skill set that Ted Cruz has to offer as president.
“We started the PAC right after we were victorious in winning Republican control of the Senate.”
No stranger to Georgia politics, Zack has previously worked as a lobbyist and in several capacities at the state capitol.
“I’ve run for the state Senate, which encompassed northern Forsyth back 10-12 years ago, and have served on the state executive committee as the committeewoman for the east,” she said. “I have been the district chair for the 7th Congressional District, and I’ve been the state party chair.”
Zack said that Cruz shares the conservative values of both Forsyth County and state voters. Zack highlighted the fact that in the last two elections the eventual Republican nominee failed to win Georgia and eventually the presidency.
“We absolutely love being in a great red state,” she said. “It is not ironic, but when Georgia votes for a candidate, if the national party level has a different candidate than how Georgia votes, then that person does not win the nomination.
“We whole heartedly believe Sen. Cruz embodies the principles and values of Georgians and will be victorious in Georgia and subsequently the nomination.”