There will be at least one Democrat on the ticket for the 2018 midterm elections for Georgia's 9th congressional district.
Joshua McCall (D - Gainesville) announced his candidacy Monday night at a meeting of the Hall County Democrats at the Gainesville Civic Center.
Born in Demorest and raised in Martin, McCall identifies himself as a Christian, which forms the foundations of his political beliefs, he said in an interview with AccessWDUN.
"I'm a Christian, and I believe in loving my neighbor. And when I finish with this campaign, I want everybody to respect me, though they may not agree with me," said McCall.
"And in order to gain people's respect, I need to show that I respect them."
His primary platform, McCall said, is health care.
"The central plank of my entire campaign, and something I'm going to be unwavering on, is a national American health service. I believe that no person should die because they're poor, and no person should go broke because they're dying," said McCall.
McCall is a Latin teacher at Riverside Military Academy and a married father of two daughters and one step-daughter.
Below are additional quotes from McCall's interview with AccessWDUN on several other hot-button issues ahead of the campaign season.
ON IMMIGRATION: "If I'm going to believe in the principal of loving my neighbor, I cannot threaten that neighbor with a breakup of his family, confiscation of his property and deportation of his family to a different country, and tell him that I love him."
"I believe that we're talking at the wrong side of the pyramid here. The people on the bottom, the immigrants and workers...they're the ones who believe they're affected by immigration, and they are. But who was the one making decisions about immigration? Well, actually, if you look at why immigrants are coming in, it's because people are giving them jobs."
"It's not fair for a worker born here in America with all these workers' rights to have to compete with somebody who's going to be scared for their job. They will do anything that the boss tells them to do."
"The fastest way we could fix immigration is to fix employment. We have got to hold employers accountable for hiring people who are undocumented."
ON ABORTION: "I do believe in a woman's right to have sovereignty over her own body. The fact is that if pro-life people want to cut down on abortions, the best way to do that is to keep abortions legal, because abortions have actually gone up under pro-life precedents."
"I still insist that I'm a pro-life candidate because, like I say, we can't say we're pro-life if we're willing to let people die because they're poor. It's impossible to make that statement." (McCall was referring to high-risk pregnancies, where the mother's life is in danger.)
ON GAY MARRIAGE: "I believe that a lot of people are living in fear and hatred of their neighbors, and I believe that gay people and straight people have a lot of things in common. One of them is they fall in love, and there is nothing, I believe, that should (allow) the government to step into another person's home and dictate how they raise their family, or how they love one another. That is my definition of bad, big government. That is government overreach."
"This affects people's lives. This is a real issue. When gay people get married, they can give one another the right to visit them in the hospital, and we've had several situations where two people made the decision to be together, but before gay marriage was legalized. They may have had a bad home life, and their parents were upset because of their lifestyle, because of their identity as gay people. And so...this person they'd spent 20, 30 years with would not be allowed to come see them in the hospital."
The 9th district congressional post is currently held by Republican Doug Collins of Gainesville.