Candidates talking taxes

At least three of the local candidates for the 7th District of Congress are making taxes a key issue.

This week, both Clay Cox and Chuck Efstration outlined their agendas.

Cox included tax reform in his "Business Plan for the American Dream," a plan of action for a tenure in Congress, on his Web site at www.voteclaycox.com.

"Many candidates can say they are conservatives," Cox said. "I am the only candidate in the race with the record to prove it. I urge all voters to read this business plan and explore my record before they make their choice at the ballot box."

Efrastion pledged "no new taxes" as part of a four-point contract with voters.

"Now more than ever, voters need solid commitments from their candidates," Efstration said of the contract, which also included the support of job creation, ethical leadership and the elimination of wasteful spending. "While some can provide slick sound-bites, I want the voters of the 7th to know exactly what my governing principles are."

Last week, another candidate, Rob Woodall, addressed the Americans for Fair Taxation's 7th District meet-up group in Lawrenceville, highlighting his role as an author of John Linder's FairTax legislation when he served as the congressman's chief of staff.

"I've done a lot of traveling in this campaign, and I can tell you that I always feel home in a crowd of FairTaxers," Woodall said. "The FairTax grassroots and I have been working together for a vital common goal, so this is more of visiting with old friends than campaigning for me."

With many pointing to the upcoming July 20 GOP primary as the place to determine who will carry Linder's torch on the issue, Woodall said that he is best equipped for the role after years working on the issue.

"There is so much support for the FairTax. I see it everywhere I go," he said. "An issue this large and important must have more than a supporter in Congress, it needs a new champion. Having written the bill with Rep. Linder, having been there at the bill's inception, when it was just an idea, and working with Neal (Boortz), John and the thousands of grassroots supporters across the nation I believe I am that next champion."

"As citizens learn about the FairTax, they realize that what it is really about, very simply, is freedom. I believe in the FairTax because I believe in freedom, and that is what this campaign is all about."

Many of the candidates will be on hand in a forum tonight, hosted by the Walton/Gwinnett Patriots. The event is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Loganville High School.

9th District results

This week's special election to replace gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal for Congress's 9th District ended without a majority.

Therefore, the top two of eight candidates will square off in a runoff next month.

Former Rep. Tom Graves was the top vote-getter with 35 percent of the vote, while former Rep. Lee Hawkins came in with 23.2 percent.

After the upcoming runoff, the GOP candidates, joined by Sugar Hill Rep. Bobby Reese, will face off again in the July primary.