Democratic candidate Doug Heckman points out several differences between himself and his Republican opponent in this year’s general election race for the 7th Congressional District.
Heckman said his military background, including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, should help distinguish him among voters in the district, which covers portions of five counties, including all of Barrow. Heckman is also quick to point out he has roots in the district and is not a Washington, D.C. insider like his opponent.
Still, as the Democratic nominee, Heckman realizes he faces an uphill battle.
“We are looking for help from across party lines,” Heckman told the Barrow Journal Monday night after speaking to the Barrow County Democratic Party. “I am looking for that person who might vote Republican nine out of 10 times, but is open to other options. Of course, we need Democrats and independents too. However, there are simply not enough Democrats in the district so we have to have crossover appeal.”
Heckman will square off against Rob Woodall, who survived a Republican runoff and crowded primary contest back during the summer. Heckman is making his second run at the seat, having challenged retiring incumbent John Linder in 2008 garnering 38 percent of the vote.
“That race was as close as anyone came against Linder,” Heckman said.
A graduate of West Point, Heckman also has a MA from Duke and said his military experience, coupled with his work in the financial field, help qualify him for the job.
He also stressed his ties with the community as he and his wife reside in Norcross and have been members of Simpsonwood United Methodist Church for close to two decades. His two sons are currently at West Point while his daughter is a student at Norcross High School.
“My opponent graduated from law school and went to work in Washington, D.C.,” Heckman said. “He is the ultimate Washington insider.”
Heckman will retire from the Army Reserves, where he is a Colonel, next year. He believes military action abroad should be a last resort and not a first one.
“I’ve been there and seen people die,” Heckman said. “It’s easy for people like George Bush and Dick Cheney who never served to dispatch our troops. Is there a place for our military to become involved? Yes, I believe so. I am not a pacifist. However, it should always be a last resort.”
The Democratic nominee is stressing a plan of “Duty, Honor, Country,” the motto he learned at West Point.
“In duty, I believe running for public office is an extension of my military service,” Heckman said. “In honor, we all know what is going on in Washington D.C with partisanship. It’s dysfunctional to have extremes at both ends. In country, we still have the best one on earth. We need people with the moral courage to step in and serve.”
Heckman has promised to only serve up to three terms if elected.
“Even the best people with the best of intentions can be corrupted by the power in Washington,” he said. “That’s why we don’t need career politicians. Our founding fathers intended for people like farmers and business owners to serve. Now we have 60 percent of Washington, D.C. as lawyers.”
Heckman’s campaign platform includes:
•bringing people together to address and solve the nation’s problems;
•promoting fiscal discipline through balancing the budget and banning earmarks;
•stimulating the economy and making sure actual jobs are created;
•taking action for American energy and independence that protects the environment and improves the country’s economic and national security.
For more information on Heckman’s campaign, visit his website at www.deckheckman.com.