FORSYTH COUNTY -- A 2016 election that is contentious in more than one race has seen a rise in the popularity of third party candidates, including one who spoke to a local political group this week.
Allen Buckley, a Libertarian challenging Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson for the U.S. Senate seat he has held since 2005, spoke to members of the United Tea Party of Georgia Monday on the importance of looking at his party.
“In the race I’m in, if Johnny Isakson wins, nothing changes … If [Democrat] Jim Barksdale wins, Georgia says, ‘same old, same old,’” Buckley said. “If I win, if any third party wins a major election … what Georgia would say is ‘We get it, we’re willing to make the sacrifices for our country to make it long-term.’”
He also stressed the importance of voting for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson over Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“It’s a lesser of two evils between the major parties, and I encourage you to look at Gary Johnson and [running mate] Bill Weld,” he said. “Think about that race – let’s say they win somehow. They’re going to go in there with a largely Republican and Democratic Congress and they’re going to try to reduce government.
“And even if they only get 5 percent or 10 percent reduction, that’s much more that what you’ll get out of the two major parties.”
Buckley, an attorney and CPA from Smyrna, ran unsuccessfully against then-Sen. Saxby Chambliss in the 2008 Senate race. His campaign is centered on economic policies, such as reducing regulation and entitlements and implementing tax reform.
Buckley also spoke out against Isakson, even calling the senator’s claims of being a conservative “a flat out lie.”
“He’s voted for over $7 trillion worth of debt,” he said. “He votes for a lot of things that create tremendous increases in spending, and then instead of cutting spending anywhere else or raising taxes, he’ll always brag, ‘I never voted for a tax increase.’ What happens when the bill comes in, he votes for debt. Then he tries to say he couldn’t help it.”
Buckley said he would like to debate Isakson but doesn’t think it likely.
Two of the people who attended the meeting said they were impressed by the candidate.
“[I liked his] adopting a plan to reduce the deficit and not allowing it to fizzle,” Gail Eastburn said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever heard someone mention a way to do that.”
“I thought he did a good job,” Joe Eastburn said. “It’s interesting to me to hear the different slants, him as opposed to other candidates.”
The United Tea Party of Georgia holds a monthly meeting in Cumming, along with meetings in Buford and Lawrenceville. More information on the group is available at utpog.com.
More information on Buckley is available at buckleyforsenate.com.