Saturday November 28th, 2015 12:54AM

Libertarians Swafford, Hunt, two others qualify for Ga. ballot

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Libertarian candidates running for U.S. Senate and governor and candidates for two other posts qualified Tuesday for the November ballot with the hope that their message of small government and fiscal restraint will resonate with Georgia voters. <br /> <br /> Amanda Swafford, a paralegal and former Flowery Branch councilwoman, will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn and either Republican Rep. Jack Kingston or former Dollar General CEO David Perdue for Georgia's open Senate seat. Kingston and Perdue meet in a GOP runoff on July 22. <br /> <br /> Andrew Hunt, the former CEO of an Atlanta nanotechnology firm, will challenge Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter. <br /> <br /> While the Libertarian Party in Georgia has only about 1,000 active members, their candidates running statewide have consistently drawn about 3 percent to 4 percent of the vote. If it turns out to be a close election year, those votes could play a major role in the outcome of the state's top races. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters would be forced into a costly runoff. <br /> <br /> That said, both Swafford and Hunt said in interviews they are running to win and will be focusing on wooing voters who haven't cast ballots in recent years out of frustration and antipathy toward the two major parties. <br /> <br /> "Our whole plan is to educate the people that there is a third choice," said Hunt, 53. "We need a smaller, more cost-effective government that ensures the liberty that is granted to us in our Constitution." <br /> <br /> Hunt, who supports public charter schools, said he wants to improve education without increasing spending and opposes any federal involvement in education. He also wants to eliminate employment penalty taxes and get rid of no-knock warrants. On Medicaid expansion, Hunt said he would take the federal money but design a more effective program that would provide better services for less and implement measures aimed at bringing medical costs down. <br /> <br /> Swafford, 37, said she was initially involved in Republican politics growing up in Hall County but moved to the Libertarian Party out of frustration with the GOP on the national and local level. She ran as a Libertarian and won a special election for a seat on the Flowery Branch City Council in 2010. She later lost a bid for re-election. <br /> <br /> "It's time we get serious about electing a candidate for United States Senate that understands, finally, the power and responsibility of the individual instead of the power and responsibility of the federal government," Swafford said. <br /> <br /> Her primary economic issues center on implementing the fair tax, reducing spending and eliminating the estate tax. <br /> <br /> In the 2010 election, the Libertarian candidate for governor received 4 percent of the total vote and the Senate candidate garnered about 3 percent. In 2008, John Monds received over 1 million votes in the general election running as a Libertarian for the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the state. <br /> <br /> Both Swafford and Hunt were nominated at the party's convention in March. <br /> <br /> Also qualifying Tuesday were Ted Metz, a 56-year-old independent insurance agent from Mableton, who is running for state insurance commissioner, and Aaron Gilmer, a 37-year-old auditor from Dawsonville, who is seeking to represent District 4 on the Public Service Commission. <br />
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 10 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 10 months ago )
PLAYOFFS: Three goes into four, as area trio earn semifinal berths
Once the dust settled on Friday night, northeast Georgia found three teams still standing in the state football playoffs -- and it was so nearly four...
9:14AM ( 8 hours from now )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
12:33AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Black Friday: The Super Bowl of shopping starts in stores, but it looks very different
NEW YORK (AP) — The annual ritual of Black Friday, as we know it, is over.Gone are the throngs of frenzied shoppers camping out for days ahead of the big sales bonanza on the day after Thanksgiving. A...
10:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Deadline to sponsor Wreaths Across America at Alta Vista is Monday
Each holiday season, veteran grave sites at Alta Vista cemetery in Gainesville are adorned with wreaths as part of Wreaths Across America.
3:42PM ( 9 hours ago )
PHOTO GALLERY: Holiday shoppers hit Gainesville stores early
Black Friday may still have status as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but Thanksgiving Thursday is gaining ground as more stores opt to open early.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:01AM ( 14 hours ago )