District 71 candidates answer e-mail questions from NTH
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Candidates David Stover and Tom Crymes responded this week to a series of e-mailed questions submitted to them by The Newnan Times-Herald.
Stover and Crymes are running for the District 71 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives and were the top two vote-getters in the Feb. 5 election balloting. The runoff election is March 5, and early voting got under way Saturday.
If you’re not sure whether or not you live in District 71, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at www.sos.georgia.gov/mvp .
• Why are you running for the District 71 seat?
Stover: I am running because I love Georgia and Coweta County and the people that live here. I see our state slipping behind in competitiveness to states such as Tennessee, Florida, Texas and other states that do not have a state income tax. I want Georgia to be the number one business environment in the country, which will lead us into being the number one creator of jobs as well.
I want to limit the amount of taxes that can be raised on the citizens of Georgia; we have been taxed enough already. It is time to eliminate the state income tax and replace it with a simpler, fairer form of taxation.
I am also passionate about protecting our right to keep and bear arms and about keeping our government constitutionally limited as well as protecting our personal freedoms and liberty.
I would like to see more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classes in Georgia. I am passionate about education and making sure that Georgia has the best-trained workforce in the country.
Crymes: I am not a politician. I have never run for political office before and I never planned on it, but over the past few years I’ve realized that we need leaders with real world experience to stand on principles that will restore America’s future; the same principles that made America the greatest country in the world. When this seat opened up unexpectedly, I received a lot of encouragement from friends and family to run for office. After discussing with my wife, I prayed it over, and decided I had to step up and get more involved. We need political leaders who will stand up for our values, protect our freedoms and fight to lower our taxes. I look forward to making tough decisions and working hard for a better future for our community.
• What issues are important to you?
Crymes: Creating opportunities for economic growth and jobs, including legislation that helps small businesses, works to attract needed captial for start-up ventures and keeps government out of the way, eliminating government waste, reducing the tax and regulatory burden, and ensuring quality education.
Stover: The elimination of the state income tax and the implementation of the Fair Tax; school choice, vouchers and tax credits; supporting and improving our public education system; protecting our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms, and reducing or eliminating the fees that it takes to be able to carry a gun legally; constitutionally limited government and the protection of our free markets in not only Georgia but in the United States; supporting and growing our university system while keeping it affordable for all that want to go to school — including limiting tuition increases to the rate of inflation and controlling fees.
• If elected, what do you hope to accomplish, both in your first term, and in the long term?
Stover: First term: eliminate the state income tax and implement the Fair Tax. Eliminate the TSPLOST bill or at the very minimum remove the penalty for not passing TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax). Full protection of our gun ownership rights in Georgia by passing bills that push back against any restrictions set by the federal government. Full nullification of Obamacare.
Long term: fund a major increase in STEM classes in our public and charter schools. Implementation of school choice, tax credits, and vouchers.
Crymes: I want the constituents of the 71st District to know that I will work for you. I will fight against higher taxes. As a small business owner there is no doubt in my mind that taxes can hamper economic growth. As an individual taxpayer I believe we can spend our own heard-earned money better than the government.
My long-range goals are based on the issues most important to our community: creating opportunities for economic growth and jobs, eliminating government waste, reducing the tax and regulatory burden, and ensuring quality education for our children.
• Why should people vote for you?
Crymes: I am not a politician. I am a husband, father and conservative businessman. I believe that elected officials’ first priority should be to serve the public, not to be self-serving. If I am fortunate enough to serve as our community’s next state representative, I want the constituents of the 71st District to know that I will work for you. We share the same values and all want the same thing: a better community to live and raise our families in. With your vote on March 5th, we can work together for a better future.
Stover: I have a proven, real world background in business and in working with our locally elected officials. I have proven myself to be a tireless advocate for the taxpayers of our county and of our state. I have shown that I will fight any government intrusions into our private lives and protect our liberties. I will uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the Constitution of the State of Georgia and I will work to make sure that no one infringes upon our God given rights. I have proven myself to be a leader through the Coweta TEA Party, and by being an Executive Director for Georgia for Fair Tax, by working in our Coweta Republican party, by serving on the National Leadership Council for the TEA Party Patriots and as a small business owner. I will not be another establishment politician at the capital and I am the only candidate that has signed the ethics pledge on limiting gifts to legislators at the state capital. The American Federation for Children, which supports candidates that support meaningful reforms that will improve public schools and ensure that all children have access to a high quality education, supports my candidacy.
• Is there anything else you’d like to tell voters that you haven’t had a chance to say?
Stover: Some people have asked me why the Fair Tax? The answer is simple. The day that the Fair Tax model is implemented on the state level, the citizens of Georgia would enjoy up to a 6 percent pay increase through the elimination of the state income tax. The Fair Tax would eliminate business tax, capital gains taxes, investment and dividend taxes, corporate and bank franchise taxes. Additionally, the Fair Tax model does not disenfranchise the poor and those who need government assistance – in fact, it insures that vital programs offering assistance to our citizens in need will be supplemented at a higher level than in our current taxation system. The effect of this is an immediate increase in the money supply, which will allow businesses to hire more people and families to save more money or spend the money on their children’s education. The bottom line on the Fair Tax model is that it is a job creator because it taxes consumption – not income. I believe that the enactment of the Fair Tax model would be an economic boom for the state of Georgia. And when the Fair Tax is implemented at the national level, along with repeal of the 16th amendment and elimination of the IRS, the economy and job growth will surge as never before.
Crymes: I want to thank all of those who have supported my campaign. It certainly means a lot to have the support and it’s encouraging to have so many share my vision for the future. I also want to thank the voters for the opportunity to stand before them and if I am fortunate to earn your vote I will work hard to make you proud and never let you down.
• The candidates were also asked to give a brief biographical sketch of themselves.
Crymes was born in Columbus, the son of an oral surgeon and an elementary school teacher. He graduated from the Brookstone School and earned a BS in building construction at Georgia Tech, where he also played football as a walk on. His first job out of school was working for Hardin Construction. He then worked as a project manager for New South Construction before starting his own business, Tomco Construction, in 1997.
“By the grace of God, I married my high school sweetheart, Laura, in 1992,” Crymes said. They moved to Coweta in 1994. Laura is a pre-K teacher at Northside School. Their children Tate, 15, Madison, 14 and Thomas, 11, attend The Heritage School. The Crymes are members of First United Methodist Church of Newnan. “I’m proud of my community service and local leadership experience,” Crymes said, which includes being a volunteer fireman from 1994 to 2005, serving as a board member of The Heritage School and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Coweta Zoning Appeals Board, and serving as a past member of the Canongate Homeowners Association and past Sunday school teacher at First Methodist.
“I believe this record of service is one of the things that set me apart in this race,” Crymes said.
Stover grew up in south Fulton and Coweta counties. He attended college studying mathematics and economics, and has more than 20 years of executive business experience in the technology and business development sectors. Stover is the owner of an Atlanta-based advertising and business development agency that he co-founded with his wife, Kathy, in 1997. They have three daughters, who all attended Coweta public schools. Katie is pursing her Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, Chloe is a junior at Georgia Southern University and McKenzie is a senior at Northgate High School.
Stover said he has worked with local elected officials for more than a decade on issues that matter to the citizens of Coweta, Georgia, and the U.S. “I have spent evenings and weekends pushing for the conservative principles that are close to the hearts of the citizens in Coweta County,” he said. Stover serves on the National Leadership Council of the TEA Party Patriots, is an executive district director of Georgia for Fair Tax, and executive coordinator for the Coweta TEA Party Patriots. He served as a precinct chairman for the Coweta Republican Party, is a past member and volunteer of the Newnan Kiwanis Club, past member and volunteer on the marketing committee of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce, and organized volunteer efforts to fight the TSPLOST within the community and around the state.