Published Friday, February 10, 2012
By John Winters
The Newnan Times-Herald
Kent Kingsley, a retired lieutenant colonel, has announced himself as a Republican candidate for Georgia's Third Congressional District seat, currently held by U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga. Third District.
Kingsley, of Milner in Lamar County, said he will focus on three key areas: passing a balanced budget amendment, enacting the Fair Tax, and implementing federal term limits for members of Congress.
"I am not running against Westmoreland, I'm running for the position," Kingsley said. "Quite frankly, I think Washington, D.C., and Congress are broken.
"They are not getting the job done," he added. "The seven years the incumbent has been in Congress ... the national debt has doubled ... and unemployment is up 60 percent."
Kingsley, a former chairman of the Lamar County Commission, said he believes his and Westmoreland's voting record would be similar, but he wants to create "fundamental changes in how Congress does business."
A big issue is passage of the Fair Tax, a consumption tax that would replace all other federal taxes.
"There are 100 reasons for passing it, but one that's rarely mentioned is if you no longer have a tax code, you eliminate 90 percent of the lobbyists," Kingsley said.
"If you pass the Fair Tax, you eliminate lobbying ... and that creates a better Congress because you don't have a bought Congress."
Kingsley said the original intent of the Constitution was to create a citizen government; instead the nation has created a "permanent political class."
"We should do our civic duty and then get out," he said about his support of term limits.
He also strongly supports a balanced budget amendment, and criticizes why Republicans have not gotten additional support from Democrats to get it passed.
"All three of these issues would tie the hands of Congress," Kingsley said. "And we need to tie their hands because Congress hasn't demonstrated they shouldn't have their hands tied."
Kingsley's family has a history of military service. His grandfather served in WWI and his father in WWII. Kingsley served as an infantry officer in the first Gulf War and also had assignments in Panama, South Korea and Germany.
His military awards include the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman's Badge and Master Parachutist's Badge.
He and his wife, Joy, have been married for 40 years. They have two grown children and one grandson. Kingsley is a broker at a real estate company and also runs a small family farm.
He also is a former teacher and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in political science.
The Third Congressional District includes 13 counties, among them Coweta, Carroll, Fayette, Heard and Spalding. It stretches from Columbus in the south to the Atlanta metropolitan area in the north.