This week, Hometown Headlines will be taking a closer look at candidates running in contested races in the May 24 primary. Profiles compiled by Natalie Simms.
U.S. House District 14
- Republican primary candidates: Tom Graves (Inc.) vs. Allan Levene and Mickey Tuck.
- This is no Democratic opposition in the Nov. 8 general election. However, a runoff is possible between the top two finishers. That election would be held July 26.
Tom Graves (Incumbent), age 46, has served as an U.S. Representative since 2010. He previously served as a Georgia State Representative from 2003-2010. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and small business owner. In 2013, Tom was elected chairman of the Georgia Republican Congressional Delegation. He is a native of Ranger, where he resides with his wife Julie and their three children. They are members of Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun.
Allan Levene, age 67, was born in London, England, and has been a U.S. citizen for 40 years and resident of Georgia for 30 years. He has been self-employed for last 30 years in the I.T. business. He also ran for congressional office in last cycle. He and his wife have been married almost 20 years. She is CPA and Doctor of Chiropractic and they have no children.
Mickey Tuck, age 55, has been a resident of Floyd County for 37 years. He is an active member of the Floyd County Republican Party and previously ran for the Floyd County Commission in the early ’90s. He is currently employed as an electrician with Gildan Yarns LLC, in Cedartown where he has worked for the last 17 years. He and his wife of 37 years, Sandy, have two adult children.
QUESTION: 2016 has been a year of voter angst over the operation of the federal government. If elected, how would you change the current image of the U.S. House?
GRAVES: “The focus of my work every single day in the U.S. House of Representatives is to secure and expand freedom for the people of the 14th District. Our potential in life and the dreams of our children should never be limited by government. In recent years, we’ve been in a fight for the future of our country. It’s the hard work of preserving freedom in the face of an aggressive executive. A new era is coming and I believe we can solve our debt crisis, reform the tax code, transform our health care system and strengthen our military if we finally have every branch of our government focused on empowering people rather than growing government.”
LEVENE: “I believe in actually solving problems. We are approaching a financial crisis far worse than 2008, but it is fixable. The public is tired of being lied to and watching our congress people enrich themselves. I have a method of bringing our manufacturing jobs back from China and providing millions of well paid jobs for American workers. If elected I will work to do that. Without a vote in Washington, a citizen’s voice is not heard. I need to be heard to provide those jobs. My ideas to repair the damage to our nation that Washington has done are on (his website).
TUCK: “The anger has not been so much over the operation of the federal government as it has been the elected officials that have failed to act on the will and best interest of the American people. As congressman of the 14th District, I will strive to change the image of the U.S. House by first listening to the constituents, voting for the conservative values and principles of the this District, by fighting and standing firm on the issues that are important to them, and most importantly be a Congressman of integrity and honesty. Doing these things would help restore the confidence of the American people that the government, and their Congressman, works for them and not the Washington political machine.”
QUESTION: Are you satisfied the current House leaders hear the voices of voters? If so, how and why? If not, why not and what changes must be taken?
GRAVES: “Speaker Paul Ryan has taken several decisive steps to decentralize power in the U.S. House of Representatives. Members like me now have more say in the agenda – what bills we vote on, how we spend our time and how we can most effectively block the Obama administration’s constant overreach. I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far this year, and I hope House Republicans can work together through the final months of the Obama administration to put forward a positive agenda that we can pursue under the next president.”
LEVENE: “Our representatives pretend to listen to the public. They only listen to people that give them money… lots of it. Our government used to work for the benefit of the public. Now, the public works for the benefit of our government. It’s all wrong. Many of our problems are caused by low wage jobs, part-time jobs and lack of optimism. We must bring back manufacturing jobs from China which can be done by a minimal change in our federal tax code. That will make the U.S. strong and the public optimistic again. I know how to do that.”
TUCK: “I am not satisfied with the current House leaders’ inability to hear the voices of the American voters. I was not happy with John Boehner’s leadership and Paul Ryan’s leadership seems to be picking up where John left off. That is very obvious with the passing of the Omnibus budget. More spending, more debt, and the funding of things voters are against such as Planned Parenthood, Syrian refugee resettlement, sanctuary cities, amnesty, etc. Campaign reform laws must be put in place so the House leadership and the members of Congress will listen to the voters and not to who puts the most money in their pockets and campaign chest.”