Jody Cooley didn’t meet much resistance when he addressed a meeting of the Democratic Women of Forsyth County.
The Democratic candidate in the Nov. 6 race for the District 9 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives “was preaching to the choir,” said club member Camille Fareri.
Nonetheless, Fareri said she was “very impressed” with what Cooley, a Gainesville business attorney, had to say Thursday.
“I think his whole concept of putting country first, which unfortunately has not been happening in the last few years … that’s what we need to be striving for and that’s what we need to be working for,” she said.
Cooley, 51, faces Republican Doug Collins, a state lawmaker from Hall County, for the right to represent the district, which includes the northern half of Forsyth and 19 other counties. South Forsyth is in District 7.
To Cooley, the election needs to be about more than spending and taxes. “This election is about people,” he said.
Cooley shared stories about the people he’s met along the campaign trail who are struggling to pay medical bills or find affordable health insurance.
He offered his platform, which he’s dubbed the four Cs.
The first, he said, is putting the country first, followed by common sense, which “should govern all of our decisions. Third is compromise.
“Compromise is not a dirty word. It is the hallmark of effective leadership,” he said. “I believe that compromise is the way forward.”
Lastly, he listed the courage to stand up for the issues that may not be popular but are morally right.
Among those, he cited comprehensive immigration reform.
He talked about four undocumented immigrants who went to school with one of his two daughters.
Despite doing well in school, they won’t get the opportunity to go to college in Georgia.
“That is both morally wrong and economically wrong for our district,” he said. “Those four children are going to not be engineers or math teachers all because of our reluctance to recognize that that ox is in the ditch.”
Cooley also talked to the women about his wife and two daughters, saying he is “surrounded by intelligent, strong women all the time.”
He said while he can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be a woman, it “seems to me that the issue is … there are certain leaders that are tone deaf to the way that certain policies affect women.”
Cooley asked the group for its support. He asked those who don’t live in his district to tell others he plans to bring compromise to Washington, D.C.
“I am a middle-of-the-road person. I play between the 40-yard lines,” he said. “I believe that’s where most of the country is.”
Fareri, who doesn’t live in Cooley’s district, said she plans to “tell my friends to vote for him.”
“Since I teach up at Gainesville and lots of my colleagues are in his district, I will tell them the same thing,” she said. “I was happy with what he had to say.”