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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: John Linder endorses Jack Kingston, Donna Sheldon for 2014 GOP primary

Jack Kingston

Jack Kingston

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Donna Sheldon

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Karen Handel

John Linder has faded from the Gwinnett political scene since his retirement from Congress in 2010. But with some highly contested GOP races on the 2014 primary ballot, the FairTax author has re-emerged to give people tips on how he would vote.

Linder announced endorsements Wednesday of Congressman Jack Kingston in the U.S. Senate race and of Donna Sheldon in the 10th District Congressional race.

“I recruited Jack Kingston 30 years ago to run for the Georgia House,” Linder said in a press release. “Eight years later we were both elected to Congress and Jack became our representative on the Appropriations Committee. Jack took that responsibility seriously and, while Congress often just argues over cutting the rate of growth, Jack actually cut spending.”

According to the release, Kingston has worked to eliminate duplicative programs and reduce deficit spending, cutting the Obama Administration’s budget by $3.6 billion in just two years when he led the Agriculture Subcommittee. He was also an early supporter of Linder’s Fair Tax plan to eliminate the federal income tax in favor of a national sales tax.

“When a tax reform proposal becomes a New York Times best seller, it clearly deserves some more attention in Washington,” he said. “As senator, I will lead the charge to implement the Fair Tax.”

Linder talked about his personal friendship with Kingston but said his endorsement is made on his efforts to cut spending.

“John Linder is one of the most effective leaders our state has ever known,” Kingston said. “I appreciate his support, his endorsement of my candidacy, and his service to our state. As Senator, I will continue his legacy of fighting for our conservative Georgia values.”

As for Sheldon, Linder has supported the Dacula woman since she first began her service in the state House.

“She has been a wonderful public servant for her constituents, and I am certain that her integrity and commitment to service will follow her to Congress,” Linder said. “Furthermore, Donna is committed to the FairTax and I believe the best candidate to help further that important reform bill. I am proud to endorse her candidacy for Congress, and I know her presence there will yield results.”

Sheldon said: “No endorsement in this race could make me prouder or have more impact than John Linder’s. He fought for real reforms in Washington and that is exactly what I intend to do as well: starting with the Fair Tax.”

Tea party support

The nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee is backing Karen Handel in the U.S. Senate race.

“With $17 trillion of debt, it’s time for America to get her fiscal house in order. It starts with electing strong, fiscal conservatives that know how to manage complex budgets,” said Tea Party Express’ executive director Taylor Budowich. “That’s why Tea Party Express is proudly endorsing Karen Handel for the United States Senate. Karen has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility, leadership and courage.”

Budowich praised Handel’s work balancing the Fulton Commission budget as chairwoman, as well as her work to improve transparency and service as Georgia secretary of state.

“Karen Handel has put together an impressive campaign because voters want authentic leadership, bold conservative ideas, and someone willing to stand on principle. Karen has done that throughout her career and we will do everything we can to send her to Washington, D.C. so she can continue her work by reining in the federal government,” Budowich said. “There are several good candidates in this race, but Karen is the only one who combines a conservative record and a proven ability to win a statewide election.”

Local tea party leader Julianne Thompson of Buford added: “Karen Handel has stood for her convictions throughout her life. After leaving an abusive home at 17, she worked her way up to a successful career in business, and is a proven conservative political leader. She credits God for guiding her path, and she is a prime example of what it means to achieve the American dream.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to send a strong and powerful message to the left…that Georgia will send a conservative Senator who is not interested in being a part of the club, but is going to fight for our families and is going to uphold our Constitution and the freedoms we hold dear,” Thompson added.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.