By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Hopefuls stump at GOP meet
Ray McBerry - photo by Jennifer Sami
The Republican Women of Forsyth County heard from two statewide candidates during the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Since election season picked up, the organization has welcomed two candidates each month to let local voters hear their message in person.
Gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry and secretary of state hopeful Doug MacGinnitie, both Republicans, spoke Tuesday.

A strong proponent of states’ rights, McBerry said his priority is to reel in the federal government’s power over states on issues like health care reform, which he said is unconstitutional.

During the question and answer portion of the meeting, McBerry was asked how he would take back power from the federal government, short of seceding from the union.

“I, as governor, will use every resource at my disposal to prevent [health care reform] from going into operation in my state,” he said.

A former history teacher and current small business owner, Mc-Berry said he supports shifting the current tax structure to a sales tax system.

He also supports efforts to remove illegal immigrants from the state, is in favor of local control of schools and tax dollars, and is a pro-life candidate.

“What we need more than anything is a governor who will go back to those founding principals that made America great,” McBerry said.

“I’m not one of those middle-of-the-road, moderate conservatives in the Republican Party, so if you’re looking for a John McCain to be your next governor here in Georgia, I’m not going to be your candidate.”

MacGinnitie said one of his priorities as secretary of state would to be to improve overseas voting, which is made difficult with paper ballots and time limits. With advancements in technology, MacGinnitie said there are ways to effectively solve the problem.

“If there’s any group of people in my opinion that we ought to be putting first in line to vote, it’s those folks that are serving in uniform,” he said.

But the secretary of state’s office isn’t just about elections, he said. The office is also responsible for issuing nearly 200 types of licenses to more than 400,000 Georgians.

With the state unemployment rate hovering about 10.5 percent, MacGinnitie said unnecessary red tape is blocking too many people from bringing jobs to the state.

“People who have been laid off, are looking for work, who have a great idea,” he said, “we need to get government out of their way to get them starting a business.

“We need to do everything we can to make it easy and efficient for people to start up their own small business.”

Jeanie Ballard, party member, said there were “a lot of good points made” by both candidates.

She also said the party’s format of introducing two candidates each month is more helpful than inviting all the candidates running for some state offices at one time.

“You can only absorb so much information,” she said. “We actually hear what they’re proposing, and it’s not always something that you can get from a pamphlet.”