U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Shane Hazel is seeking to represent part of Forsyth County at the federal level.
Hazel recently qualified for the race for Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District, where he will challenge incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall in the Republican primary on May 22. Hazel described himself as an “anti-establishment candidate.”
“The current state of our federal government and the establishment [and] my faith, those two combined helped me really jump into this,” Hazel said. “But probably the catalyst was when I was teaching the Constitution, people knew about my background and knew that I understood the honor of that oath … and said, ‘why don’t you do something about it and run for representative?’”
Hazel holds classes on the Constitution and has presented on it at previous political meetings in the county.
If elected, Hazel said there are several programs he would like to see abolished or defunded.
“We would like to defund Obamacare,” Hazel said. “We would like to introduce the counter to the 16th Amendment. We would like to defund Planned Parenthood altogether and would like to abolish the [department of veterans affairs.]”
Hazel said the VA was not meeting the needs of veterans and said he would like to see it replaced with a system allowing veterans to get treatment from their own doctor and bill the department of justice.
“One of those things that is near and dear to me, obviously, is veterans,” he said. “We have a real problem with the VA out there right now in terms of how they treat veterans and the ridiculously long waiting list. We’d like to see that go to more of a private-type care.”
He said he also favors a fair or a flat tax and abolishing the IRS.
Hazel said he wants to increase the number of town hall meetings in the congressional district to hear from local voters.
“We’ll be having one once a quarter both in Forsyth County and in Gwinnett County to stand before the people to answer for our voting record, as well,” Hazel said. “We’ll also be rejecting the House retirement plan. We’ll be rejecting the healthcare plan, and we’re also going to be inflicting our own term-limits of eight years if successful in this bid for Congress.”
The winner of the Republican Primary will face the winner of the Democratic Primary on Nov. 6.
Democrats Kathleen Allen, Carolyn Bourdeaux, David Kim, Ethan Pham, Melissa Davis and Steve Reilly qualified for the race.
Hazel is a Marine Corps Veteran and served in Iraq with First Force Reconnaissance Company and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor after the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. He grew up in Lawrenceville and graduated from Brookwood High School and earned a degree in international affairs from UGA.
Hazel lives in Cumming with his wife, Meredith, and three young children.