Businessman David Kim has thrown his hat in the ring to be the next congressman for District 7.
Kim is one of seven candidates on the Democratic primary for the seat. Advance voting began on Monday and will continue this week, including Saturday, and next week before the May 22 primary.
Kim said he never had plans to run for office but was motivated to do so due to the state of political discourse.
“I just kind of saw the  election, but even before that, there was a lot of gridlock that was occurring the last couple of years of President [Barack] Obama: judges not getting elected, things not getting done in Congress,” Kim said. “That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and I just kind of continued to see the chaos and broken promises, and that really bugged me.”
Kim is a founder of C2 Education, a tutoring and test prep company that has more than 180 centers nationwide. Kim remained with the company from its founding in 1999 until 2016, when he left to work with Teen Ink, a teen literary magazine.
“While at C2 Education we helped tens of thousands of kids get into college,” Kim said. “We built over 200 offices in 16 states. Everywhere I went, there was this huge push toward STEM, and we saw a lot of areas in the arts and creative writing expository writing, kind of really get the short end of the stick. I thought, I’m a contrarian, so I thought, ‘This is an area that needs to be addressed.’”
He said one area he wants to address is healthcare. One of his employees had been caught up in the recent issue between Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“Why I bring that up is kind of the neutering of the healthcare system by our current Congress has kind of allowed those kinds of showdowns to become more commonplace,” he said. “The marketplaces are not competitive. They’re not doing what they were designed to do to create better choices, better options.
Kim said he favors fixing the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug prices.
He also said he believes elected officials are “not doing their job to hold government accountable to the people.”
“[One the duties of Congress] is making sure the executive branch is doing its job and executing all of the existing rules, and we’re not seeing that done as well,” he said. “Green space is pretty important to me, and we have an EPA that is being run by an individual that doesn’t seem to care and seems to care more about selling out the government and selling liquefied natural gas on behalf [of] his special interests; that bugs me.”
Also qualifying in the race were Democrats Carolyn Bourdeaux, Steve Reilly, Ethan Pham, Melissa Davis and Kathleen Allen and Republicans Incumbent Rob Woodall and Shane Hazel.
Kim lives in Duluth with his wife and three young children. He holds a degree from Harvard University, serves on the board of Zoo Atlanta and is a deacon at Korean Central Presbyterian Church.
For more information on his campaign, go to DavidKim2018.com.