COVINGTON, Ga. — Campaign trails of Mike Collins and David Curry for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District crossed paths this week when the pair spoke to the Newton County Republican Women’s Club on Tuesday night.
Collins and Curry are two of 13 Republican candidates running to fill the seat soon to be vacated by Jody Hice, R-Greensboro. Hice has held the seat since he was elected in 2014. The congressman announced in March 2021 he would not seek reelection and instead campaign for Georgia’s Secretary of State, challenging incumbent Brad Raffensperger.
The 10th District spans 25 counties, including a portion of Newton County.
COLLINS TOUTS TRUMP SUPPORT
Collins, who previously ran for the seat in 2014, is a Jackson native and owner of Collins Trucking. On Tuesday, he touted himself as pro-Donald Trump, even before Trump was the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, and Collins said he was “conservative to the core as you can get.” Collins also believed Trump was the best president in his lifetime.
Collins has never been elected to anything in his life, he said, but if elected for this seat, he would be a “warrior” and fight for the people’s constitutional rights.
“If you’re looking for the person that wants to go to Washington to get asked out to lunch and the dinner parties … then I’m not your guy. I’m the guy that’s going to go up there and fight.”
The biggest issue to tackle, Collins said, was election integrity. He said he was pushing to get rid of Dominion voting machines and wanted to revert back to a paper ballot system.
“They work,” he said. “They’re verifiable.”
He also wanted to “finally” figure out what happened in the November 2020 General Election.
Collins said he was a believer in term limits. He believed those who have served in Congress for decades were “ruining our country.”
“I’m a firm believer in fresh new blood and new thinking,” he said.
Collins also briefly pointed to other issues he wanted to address, such as immigration policy, particularly “finishing the wall” at the Mexican border; dealing with China; and getting veterans better treatment.
The businessman said he wanted the “America First Agenda back.” But, Collins said Republican voters would ultimately have to decide between two paths: “… the Romneys, Liz Cheneys, Geoff Duncans and even [10th District candidate Timothy Barrs] of the world; or we can go the route of the … Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Trumps of the world. That’s [the latter] who I’m going to join.”
“The people that we send to Congress today are going to have to be a warrior,” Collins said. “ … the time for compromise, time for civility and time for bipartisanship is over.”
CURRY SAYS SUCCESSES MAKE HIM BEST CANDIDATE
Curry told a room full of Republicans that his successes as former state revenue commissioner and Henry County’s tax commissioner are what sets him apart from the other candidates.
The McDonough resident said he first dove into politics after working 18 years for Ford Motor Company to simply make a positive impact on the community. During his 10-year tenure, Curry said his office always came in under budget.
In 2019, Curry was named commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue. His first major accomplishment in that role was turning around an abysmal call center operation.
When Curry first arrived, there was a three-hour average hold time and a 66% abandonment rate. After six months, the call center averaged a five-minute hold time and improved to a 0% abandon rate. He said the governor took notice and hired personnel to implement Curry’s processes in other departments across the state.
“Everything we touched, we tried to improve,” Curry said. “My job as revenue commissioner was to serve the tax payers of Georgia.”
In year one as revenue commissioner, he cut the department’s budget by $9 million. In year two, Curry said he trimmed the budget again by $20 million and laid off 52 people.
“When asked why, I said, ‘Every dollar we spend at the Georgia Department of Revenue is a dollar that came out of somebody’s pocket,’” Curry said. “When you lose sight of that, you need to go.”
Curry also shared that another major focus as revenue commissioner was deregulation, cutting through the unnecessary red tape that allows businesses to succeed. He’ll have the same mindset if elected, he said.
“There’s a lot of people running. Not many people can give you examples like that,” Curry said.
The candidate also said he was willing to get personal, as he’d always done, by providing his cell phone number to residents.
“I am on a job interview today,” he said. “You’re right, we have issues to fix — problems. But I refuse to be the type of representation that you can’t get in touch with. I give my phone number out to everyone … and no, that number will not change if I get elected.”
Curry said it was ultimately up to the voters to decide who would be put in office, but everyone needed to get out, do their research on all of the candidates and actually cast a ballot.
“We’ve got a nation that needs saving,” Curry concluded. “I want to encourage you to do your research. We’re not all the same. Some [candidates] don’t live in the district. Some pretend to be one thing and say they’re something else; they’ve never spent time in district. You’ve got some that can tell you a lot of things, but they don’t have proof that they’ve ever done anything. David Curry has been successful, by the grace of God and hard work, in every single thing I’ve done … I will go to Washington, and I will do everything that I can to help you be successful, too.”
Slated to also speak was candidate Alan Sims, but he was unable to attend, a Newton County Republican Women’s Club representative said.
The Primary Election is scheduled for May 24, and a primary runoff is set for June 21, if needed.
The General Election will be Nov. 8, and, if needed, a runoff is scheduled for Dec. 6.
The filing deadline for candidates is March 11.