That was the message at Greg Dolezal’s campaign kickoff Monday evening, the first official event since the west Forsyth resident announced his candidacy for the District 27 state Senate seat in early June.
The position is currently occupied by Forsyth County Republican Michael Williams, who announced on June 1 he is running for governor.
Monday’s event, which was held at Branchwater restaurant in Vickery Village, brought together about 250 people from across the aisle, including county commissioners, school board members, Forsyth Republican and Democratic party members, Sheriff Ron Freeman and State School Superintendent Richard Woods.
“I made a very intentional effort to make sure we had supporters from every political faction in Forsyth County,” Dolezal said. “There are some pro-growth people; there are some no-growth people. There are some people that fall way left of center, way right of center. There are people that really have every political view, and there are people that have stakes in every different tent in the county.
“Ultimately, we have to go to the Gold Dome with one voice, as one Forsyth County. If we do that, we will be successful.”
Dolezal, who was joined by his wife, Natalie, and their three children, Naomi, 5, Lincoln, 3, and Norah, who is 5 months old, is a partner at Renewed Vision, a Forsyth County-based technology firm that serves companies such as Disney, The Smithsonian, The NFL and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
In 2013, he launched the website FixForsythTraffic to help ensure local infrastructure was being prioritized to accommodate growth, and he has previously served as on Forsyth County’s planning board, impact fee committee and comprehensive plan steering committee. He currently serves on the county’s transportation plan steering committee.
He said Monday a large part of his decision to run is to ensure a positive future for his children.
“We’ve been rooted [in Forsyth County] for more than a decade, and we’ve fallen in love with this community,” he said. “Likewise, we recognize that America is not just a country. America is an idea, and ideas are things that need to be protected.
“The idea is very unique. The idea says our rights do not come from a king, they do not come from the government; they are inherent equally in you as they are in me, and they come from our Creator. Those are the kind of things we have to stand up for — to protect, to guard and to preserve every day so that Norah, Naomi and Lincoln walk through life in an America that is just as great as the America that we we’re able to walk through.”
Key to that America, Dolezal said, are the institutions that make up the country.
“Ronald Reagan talked about government as not the answer to the problem — government is the problem,” he said. “Every day in our country, we see government replacing family, churches, charities and doing things that government is not designed to do.”
He said institutions that “do things well” should be elevated and that government should be kept to its “very essential role.”
Despite the candidate’s Republican message, Forsyth County Democratic Party member Anita Tucker said the party is open to working with Dolezal, should he be elected.
“We’re here to bridge the gap, as I’ve said before,” she said.
Dolezal said he was pleased to see the political diversity at Monday’s event.
“You never know what’s going to happen when you hold an event like this,” he said, “and the turnout has been beyond what we could ever ask for. Like I said, it’s a humbling thing, but it’s an encouraging thing to see so many people from so many different walks of life unite behind this campaign.”