By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer
Mike Collins, a Republican primary candidate for the 10th Congressional District U.S. representative election, held a meet-and-greet at the James Madison Inn on Thursday, Jun. 19, to acquaint himself with local Morgan County residents, business owners, and community leaders, including: Lee Abney, the in-coming chairman of the chamber; Fred Johnson, treasurer of the Morgan County Republican Pary; Joe Reitman, Madison city attorney; Jim Carter, local attorney; and Everett Royal, owner of Variety Works in Madison. Collins, born and raised in Jackson, Ga., chatted with locals about his 20-plus year background in private business and his commitment to the republican ideals of small government, lower taxes, and pro-business regulations.
“These principles are needed to make it possible for people to thrive financially,” said Collins, whose running on a platform to overhaul the federal policies coming out of Washington D.C. Collins believes that if he is elected to congress, he can offer a valuable business savvy perspective to help “overhaul” current business policy trends coming out of Washington D.C. that he finds detrimental to small business owners and the overall economy. “This election is about the economy. I have spent over 20 years in the private sector–creating jobs, dealing with taxes, and balancing budgets. People need jobs, and I want to help hardworking people get them,” said Collins, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University and boasts of running three successful businesses throughout his career. Although this campaign is Collins’ first political endeavor, he remained confident in his ability to lead in Washington D.C. “Paul Broun is a good man, but I don’t believe in his leadership style and I would not adopt it,” said Collins. Incumbent Paul Broun announced in 2013 that he would vacate office to run for a seat in the senate.
Collins is currently running against Judy Hice, the other front-runner for the republican primaries, in a run-off election July 22. “I am an honest guy. My opponent may tell you what you want to hear, but I will tell you how it really is. I will tell you the truth,” said Collins. The winner of the election in July will run against the democratic candidate, Ken Dious, in the November 4 election later this year. Reitman is also convinced that Collins background in running a trucking business will be useful in congress. “He brings extensive board and committee experience to the table,” said Reitman. During the meet-and-greet, Collins took a strong stance against The Affordable Care Act. “It has wreaked havoc on rural hospitals, said Collins.
Especially the mandates to make hospitals to go paperless. They just can’t afford that.” When asked about the and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which limits bank proprietary trading and places new regulations on derivatives in order to protect consumer interests, Collins said, “I would take a match and light it. It’s the worst piece of legislation, truly terrible. It’s hurting small businesses. That’s not how to jump-start this economy.” Mike Torino, senior manager at Amici’s, asked Collins how he plans to make a difference in Washington D.C. with over 400 congressmen to contend with. “It’s my real world experience that I’ve been through that I will use,” said Collins.