Editor’s note: This report is on the candidates for the May 2020 7th U.S. Congressional District Republican Primary. A future article will report on the Democratic candidates in that primary.
The race for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District has drawn a packed, diverse crowd of Republicans who are fighting to keep the seat after five-term Republican Rob Woodall declared he would not seek re-election. The winner of the May 19, 2020 primary will go on to face the top Democrat in the November 3, 2020 General Election.
The Republican field of challengers includes a current Georgia Senator, a former NFL star, a business executives and a number of first-time politicians — including a self-described “Woman of Color Trump Supporter.”
Meet some of the Republican candidates:
Lisa Noel Babbage:
A self-described ‘Woman of Color Trump Supporter,” Babbage is a newcomer to running for political office. She is a veteran teacher with a background in nonprofit leadership and hospitality. For the last 15 years, Babbage has taught public elementary school and most recently, became an adjunct professor with Southeastern University Describing herself as a cause- driven patriot, Babbage says she began volunteering on campaigns and with the Republican Party when she was 17. She serves on the Executive Board of the Gwinnett GOP and the State Republican Committee.
Babbage says she is “running for my children and my children’s children. The race was too close last time and the American dream should be available for all citizens. We have a generation of Constitutional illiterates who are poorly engaged in the voting process.” She went on to say she will “support the highest office in the land and decrease government waste. I believe reforming our welfare system is a piece to this puzzle, as is prison reform. To sum it up, I am Pro God, Pro America, and Pro Life and I have a Clearer Vision, Clearer Purpose for 2020.
Lerah Lee says she is running for Congress “to be your voice in Washington. I’m not a professional politician or in the back pocket of any special interest groups or a celebrity. I am a mother of five children, a devoted wife, an educator and a PhD who wants a better future for our country and for the next generation.”
Lee says she decided to seek the 7th Congressional seat after seeing all the positive changes taking place in the country under President Trump. “Just look at the state of the country, see how the economy is booming, see how the President is investing in communities that had been left behind, look at what the President has invested in the Historically Black College and Universities, why wouldn’t you want to be part of this, and why wouldn’t you want to be part of the Republican Party?”
Lee says it time for “real leadership on the serious issues confronting our nation such as illegal immigration, out of control federal spending and government bureaucrats thinking they know better when it comes to our health care decisions and how we educate our children.
Probably the most well–known candidate in the race is State Senator Renee Unterman. She has said she plans to focus on “solutions to maintain our prosperity and high quality of life by tackling traffic congestion, ending illegal immigration and replacing Obamacare with patient-centered solutions.”
In a recent interview, Unterman was quoted as saying, “Our region suffers from some of the worst congestion in the nation. I’ll make sure we bring back home the gas taxes that we pay in Georgia to build the infrastructure we need. “
As a former nurse and one of only two GOP women in the state Senate, Unterman says she is “passionate about ensuring that Georgians get access to excellent health care.” She is running on her “proven, conservative record of getting things done for the people of Georgia and I’m excited about getting to work with President Trump to keep America great.”
Others in the race include:
A former Home Depot executive and founder of a nonprofit organization, Homrich says she brings the perspective of an “outsider, a businesswoman and a mom” to Congress. She’s partially self-funding her campaign. She has been quoted as saying, “Under the president’s policies our economy is booming, and Gwinnett and Forsyth counties are home to incredible growth. We need more outsiders in Washington. Outsiders with real world experience who will keep this great economy going.”
Dr. Richard McCormick
An emergency medicine physician at Gwinnett Medical Center, McCormick is a graduate of the Morehouse School of Medicine and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy. McCormick is partially self-funding his campaign and emphasizing his military service — stating that he brings a lifetime of leadership as a Marine pilot, emergency physician, an educator and as a man of faith. He also touts his conservative stance on taxes and social issues.
Joe Profit, a former Atlanta Falcon who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, says divisiveness is the biggest issue facing the country right now. “We are divided as a nation and if we don’t come together no matter what the issues are we will not be successful in our efforts,” he recently said.
The Air Force veteran and political novice worked in finance and founded a real estate investment firm. He says his experience will help him “tackle our national debt crisis, improve infrastructure, empower local businesses, and bring more jobs to Georgia’s Seventh District.”
A Johns Creek-based businessman and investor, Gonsalves says he’ll focus his campaign on fiscal responsibility and whittling down the national debt.
Gwinnett GOP Secretary Jacqueline Tseng has also said she will run for the seat.