Candidate Q&A: Republican candidates for U.S. House District 4A voter shows their sticker and stylus after casting a ballot at the Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Decaturish.com sent a Q&A to all candidates running for the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate. Here are the responses of the Republican candidates running for U.S. House District 4 in the May 24 election. The incumbent, Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson, has no primary opponent. Early voting starts May 2. To see your sample ballot, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page by clicking here. The answers have not been edited. All our elections coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com.
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Candidate name: Jonathan Chavez
Candidate website: https://www.jonathanchavezforcongress.com
What is your occupation? Director of Clinical Operations
What neighborhood do you call home? Conyers, GA
Why are you running for this position? To enact change to make a better place for our families and children to live in.
If elected, what are your top two or three priorities? 1) Improving the economy for Georgia residents in the 4th district as well as across America. 2) Protecting our children and their parents from a government that labels them as Domestic Terrorists for asking what the education system is teaching their children. 3) Fighting to bring business into the 4th district that will increase the number high paying jobs to the constituents.
How would you work to accomplish your priorities if elected? By collaborating with fellow like-minded Republicans who share these goals and ideals to bring forward bills that will help change the trajectory of American government.
How would you work with members of the opposing party to accomplish your goals? Utilizing an approach to tackle difficult situations that impact both sides of the aisle. There is common ground that we can agree on and we must work together for what is best for the American people. Politicians need to remember that internal fighting only hurts the citizens they represent and by choosing common ground we can agree on, we can work together to make progress for all of us.
Do you support making Daylight Savings permanent in the United States? No, but I am open to hearing ideas as to why it should be. My contention is that this was tried in the 1970’s for a short amount of time. What occurred was increase in gasoline usage at that time. With current gas prices, I do not believe this is something viable for American families. In addition, this would create darker mornings which would create a hazard for kids who walk to school.
Do you support Medicare For All or any kind of universal healthcare plan? Why or why not? I do not. Medicare for All would cost upwards of around $40 trillion dollars, substantial cuts to hospitals and doctors which would decrease the number of both in America. Americans would all have healthcare, but the quality would decrease as we would see extremely long wait times for appointments, needed surgeries and other life-saving measures.
What changes would you make to the Affordable Care Act? Would change some of the subsidies and regulatory issues that affect low-income Americans. In order to make the ACA more affordable, we need to adjust the eligibility requirements for premium tax credits and cost sharing. By eliminating the 400% federal poverty level premium tax eligibility gap and enhancing the premium tax credit for all income levels, this will make the ACA more affordable. As more people opt in to the new, lowest cost ACA, this will drive the price down even more to make it affordable for all Americans.
Do you support full legalization of marijuana in the United States? Why or why not? Full legalization of Marijuana should still be regulated. The states who have legalized Marijuana for recreational use have seen a rise in hospital visits from people who have inhaled low-grade Marijuana that was treated with pesticides and created health hazards. I support Marijuana for medical use and use caution for recreational use. However, alcohol is far worse than Marijuana and if employers are worried about their personnel, they can enact policies for randomized drug tests to ensure they have a safe, working force. The costs of the tests can be deferred from employers with taxes imposed on the sale of Marijuana to help provide low-cost tests for employees.
What do you think our country’s spending priorities should be? We need to strengthen national defense, reduce debt to enable economic growth that will substantially increase the living conditions for Americans, control the growth (reduce the size) of the Federal government and spend money on necessary programs, provide health care for our Veterans and enhance services and programs for them.
If Republicans control of Congress in the fall, who would you support for speaker of the House? I would support Jim Jordan to become the speaker of the house.
If Democrats retain control of Congress in the fall, how would you work with the opposing party to accomplish your goals? Utilizing an approach to tackle difficult situations that impact both sides of the aisle. There is common ground that we can agree on and we must work together for what is best for the American people. Politicians need to remember that internal fighting only hurts the citizens they represent and by choosing common ground we can agree on, we can work together to make progress for all of us.
Do you support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act? Why or why not? The John Lewis Voting Rights Act is an attempt to federalize the voting system and relieve state governed powers over the election system. I believe the federal government has grown too large and has already exceeded their powers as per the wishes of the founders of America. The bill would grant the DOJ authority to rescind any state law over the election system. This means that voter ID, maintenance of voter roll calls, hours of operation and other essential functions could be deemed as a violation per the DOJ and would take away state powers to oversee their own election system. Granting too much power to any one entity is never a good idea. I do NOT support this bill.
What are the issues upon which you will not compromise? Give us one to three issues upon which there is no middle ground for you. 1) Abortion 2) Parental Rights for Education Choice
What is your opinion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? I belong to a Catholic Ukrainian church in Conyers, GA. I oppose this action as I would any action by tyranny that attempts to control and govern a people who wish to live independently. Many Ukrainian citizens have been mercilessly killed during this invasion and only in the name for Russia to gain more control. This could have been avoided back in December 2021 if the U.S. would have kept its promise to support Ukraine by supplying armaments back then to strengthen their military and send a message that the U.S. will not stand for any invasion of Ukraine. President Biden exposed that he is weak to the entire world.
What would you do to address inflation? By not spending any more money than we have to. Inflation is caused when you have too much money chasing too few goods. By passing these multi-trillion dollar bills, we are spending money we don’t have, so what does America have to do to compensate? Print more money. This is the basic concept, if you have an extremely rare, one of a kind comic book signed by the author, it is extremely valuable. Now if you have a comic book that has been mass produced and the author signed 5,000 copies, it is not as valuable because the market controls the price. Someone else could sell the comic book cheaper. Same principle applies, if you print too much money, with no one producing goods, the money becomes less valuable. This is what drives inflation up. The goods are become the valued commodity and the price of those goods skyrocket. We see it happening now with these bills being passed.
What transportation projects would you like to see completed in your district? I would like to see a rail system expanded into the 4th district with more reliable public transportation. Especially with gas prices increasing, the citizens of the 4th district need this in order to have an affordable option to go to work.
What is your opinion of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection attempt? The Jan. 6th 2021 incident was not an insurrection. This was misguided by the people involved but has been taken way out of proportion. If this is an insurrection, then why do we never hear about the riot in May 2020 where protestors stormed the White House attacking Secret Service and Federal agents. Many Secret Service agents were injured during that attack and some had feared they would not be able to control the crowd and protect the President? Why do we not hear about the attack on the Federal Court house in Portland where rioters set fire to the Federal Courthouse attacking and injuring Federal Officers? It is because the enforcement of the laws are applied unevenly and it is propaganda that propels statements such as “January 6th was an insurrection.” It is one side that dispenses these types of statements while turning a blind eye to the carnage that ensured during 2020.
If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government? Ethics is something that both parties should be monitoring, regardless of political affiliation. If I see a Republican acting in an unethical or non-transparent manner, they should be called out as any one else should be. Ethics should not be partisan and by conducting myself in an ethical and transparent manner, I will exude this to my fellow Republicans and the American citizens. In order to promote ethics and transparency, the person wishing to enact such policies should be the example that sets him apart from the others.
Candidate name: Surrea Ivy
Candidate website: www.ivy4ga.com
What is your occupation? Corporate Trainer
What neighborhood do you call home? Lawrenceville
Why are you running for this position? I have family and friends who have lived in the District for 10 plus years. I can use my 15 years in Leadership Development and Training to facilitate economic growth and development, as well as promote the path to the success defined by the people.
If elected, what are your top two or three priorities? School choice and accountability, along with Socio-Economic Development are my top 2 priorities. This includes mental health, veterans services, and entrepreneurship.
How would you work to accomplish your priorities if elected? 1. Support and author A Parental Bill of Rights, and School Choice Legislation. 2. Implement a constitute services that link community resources and workshops to train others in entrepreneurship and finance. 3. Advocate and author bills that will restore skill-based/technical training and certification in high schools. 4. Advocate and author legislation that reduces the “red tape” and expenses for entrepreneurship.
How would you work with members of the opposing party to accomplish your goals? I will keep, at the forefront of my mind and heart, that if one of us fails, we all do, and work with that motivation in mind. I will remember to not allow what we all can agree on to suffer for the things we disagree on.
Do you support making Daylight Savings permanent in the United States? Yes
Do you support Medicare For All or any kind of universal healthcare plan? Why or why not? No. I support free market medical care and the prohibition of medication monopolies. Competition drives down prices and increases quality. If a family can purchase insurance cheaper and with better coverage from another state, that is applicable to the state of residence, without cumbersome processes, why not? If pharmaceutical companies on were prohibited from price manipulation and cost to patients, the cost of care would reduce. If there was transparency of billing, cost would reduce.
What changes would you make to the Affordable Care Act? See previous answer.
Do you support full legalization of marijuana in the United States? Why or why not? Yes, for medicinal purposes. There is no proof that marijuana has ever caused a death, where as cigarettes and alcohol has caused great harm. Furthermore, there is evidence that marijuana is a safer alternative to various medications when administered appropriately. In addition, it seems a tad bit hypocritical to declare marijuana a gateway drug and not view legal cigarettes, alcohol the same.
What do you think our country’s spending priorities should be? Our primary focus should be Education, National Defense, and Science, specifically in the area medicine and space. We should bring medicine development and manufacture back to the US, and we should take a hard look at the quality of food and medicine we are administering to our citizens.
If Republicans control of Congress in the fall, who would you support for speaker of the House? The Speaker needs to bring balance and common sense to the House. While I have my ideas of who that should be, I would have to see them in the element.
If Democrats retain control of Congress in the fall, how would you work with the opposing party to accomplish your goals? I will put the needs of the whole ahead of agendas and ideals.
Do you support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act? Why or why not? No. Men and women, like John Lewis, fought for all mankind to be treated equally. The Civil Rights Laws are sufficient. What we should do is stop electing officials and hiring individuals who do not get that concept and refuse to adhere to those principles. Laws define what is acceptable. Accountability detours operation outside if the law. The law clear defines what is discrimination. Accountability makes sure you live by it.
What are the issues upon which you will not compromise? Give us one to three issues upon which there is no middle ground for you. 1. School Choice/Parental Rights. 2. Medical Autonomy. 3.Rule of Law.
What is your opinion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Ukrainian and Russian citizens are victims of governments who value opportunism over life. We should help the citizens, but both sides should be investigated and dealt with according to the findings.
What would you do to address inflation? This is easy. Don’t spend more than we make. Cut the excess. Double down on expenditures until we eliminate the debt. You know, what ever family in America has to do to stay afloat.
What transportation projects would you like to see completed in your district? I would like to see road improvements and reliable public transportation.
What is your opinion of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection attempt? Any attack on America is terrorism! In the same spirit, don’t try people outside of the court. Due process is for everyone. It is this truth that separate us from evil.
If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government? Absolutely! I will submit myself to whatever scrutiny that will not jeopardize the life and well-being of America, it’s interests and citizens, and my family.
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