With about two months to go before the Nov. 8 election, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Rich McCormick, a veteran and emergency room physician, spoke with the Forsyth County News about the upcoming race and what he wants to accomplish if chosen by voters.
McCormick said after a tough primary season, the next step is to get Republicans on the same page heading into November.
“I think the main thing for us is just getting the party united again. I think the Republican Party needs to come to grips with the diversity of thought in our own party. I, for one, am a very conservative guy, but I believe that if I alienate people that would naturally gravitate toward the Republican Party, that wouldn’t be good for the growth of our party, and I think we have to be careful, as a party, to have the right rhetoric, that when I’m having an argument with someone, we don’t just do the Facebook thing and vilify people instantly because they disagree with us on something.”
This is McCormick’s second time running for Congress.
In 2020, McCormick faced Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in the race for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, containing the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. Bourdeaux won that race with 190,900 votes (about 51.4% of the total) to McCormick’s 180,564 votes, about 48.6% of the total.
McCormick said, campaign-wise, that a lot has changed since he first announced he would run in 2019.
“I didn’t know one politician when I started three years ago, not one politician,” McCormick said. “So, to come from that to a person who kind of knew almost everybody, I met the president by the time we started this election cycle.”
After new Congressional maps were approved by the Georgia General Assembly, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District now contains all of Forsyth and Dawson counties and portions of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
In June, McCormick defeated fellow Republican Jake Evans in the seat’s Republican runoff by 27,455 votes (about 66.5% of the total) to 13,808, after the two were the top vote-getters in an eight-candidate primary in May.
He will face Democrat Bob Christian, who defeated fellow Democrat Wayne White in the party’s primary in May, earning 18,776 votes, about 55.6% of the total, to White’s 15,025.
After facing and bolstering support among fellow Republicans, McCormick said “Now, it’s time to reach out to the general public,” including those who might not traditionally vote for Republicans, such as newcomers to the area, minorities and legal immigrants.
“The people that will decide the statewide races are these independents, these people who either don’t like something about the Republican Party or don’t like something about the Democrat Party, but they’ve been sandwiched in the middle,” he said.
If elected, McCormick said one of his main objectives is to be a voice for residents in the district by having one of the strongest constituent services in the nation.
“I’m one of 435 votes in Congress, but I am your representative. I am the guy, when you have a problem, whether it be from the federal government or being overseas and trying to get back in the country after you’ve lost your passport, you’re being treated unfairly,” he said.
“If there is a problem that you cannot deal with that you need our assistance, I do not want to give you a form letter, I want to answer the mail, to tell you when we are going to get back to you, to tell you what we are doing, to keep you involved, to let you know that we care and that we’re here to help you.”
McCormick has also campaigned on continuing the area’s success in schools, low crime rate and quality of life and has said he wants to tackle inflation, help spur economic growth, secure the Southern border and make sure elections are fair.
He said he believes people will usually do what’s right if the government stays out of the way.
“People know what to do. God has given us a natural inclination to do the right thing, and as long as you stay out of the way, it happens,” he said. “That’s when churches and communities and families succeed, when the government is not getting in the way of that by trying to do it for them.
“It’s never worked out when the government forces us to do the right thing. God doesn’t force us to do the right thing, why do we think the government has more of a right than God?”
Georgia has been in the national spotlight due to the high-profile races for governor – between Republican incumbent Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams – and Senate – between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
When asked what impact he saw those races having on his, McCormick said he believes he controls his own destiny and he is looking at ways to help Republican candidates in other races.
“We, first of all, want to take care of business in our district,” McCormick said. “Then, we look statewide to see how we can help people without getting in their way.”
McCormick said he is “bullish” on this year’s Republican candidates and believes the party can take back the White House in the 2024 election.
Despite current political tensions, McCormick said the country has been divided before and pointed to the strife of the 1970s before the election of President Ronald Reagan, which he described as “one of the greatest eras of prosperity that lasted almost two decades.”
“If we take 17 seats, we’ll have a bigger majority than we had in [1994.] If we take 29 seats, we’ll have a bigger majority than we had in 2010, and if we take 34 seats, we’ll have the biggest majority since the Great Depression. This could literally be a historic class and already is a historical class because you have more women, more minorities and more veterans running for Congress than you ever had in the history of the Republican Party.”
McCormick served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and is a former Marine pilot who has served in Africa, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.
He is a graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine. He and his wife, Debra, have seven children. For more information on his campaign, go to www.RichMcCormick.us.