GAINESVILLE –– Republican candidates for Georgia's 9th congressional district exchanged their views on major issues during a Monday night town hall.
"After over a year in Washington, I can tell you that the radical left in the majority is doing its best to destroy our country," incumbent Rep. Andrew Clyde told the audience. "They're emboldened to cancel us to silence dissent and to make us more reliant on the government. That's not what conservatives want."
The event, held at the Hosch Theatre at Brenau University, was sponsored by WDUN and moderated by Mitch Clarke and Martha Zoller.
"As conservatives, I can guarantee you that we all agree on the problems, and we're tired of hearing about them," said candidate Ben Souther. "We want to hear about plans to solve these problems."
Candidates gave their views on topics like immigration. Souther favored a bipartisan plan to solve the current issues, and he said this would include a border wall. However, fellow GOP challenger Michael Boggus took a more hardline approach. He advocated for the construction of military bases along the border.
"Having a border wall is fine, but when they're climbing it and crawling under it, it really doesn't do much," Boggus said.
During the recent legislative session, lawmakers passed a series of bills to give parents more control over their child's education, and each of the candidates thinks the current system is broken.
"Teaching the morals of someone else who are children is not the federal government's place," explained GOP candidate Gregory Howard. "It belongs to the parents in their local community."
On the subject of foreign policy, Congressman Andrew Clyde remainder adamant that the U.S. must continue to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. He was quick to blast the Biden Administration for their handling of the war.
"The current administration, I think, displays weakness across the world. And that, and weakness invites aggression," Clyde stated.
His challenger, Michael Boggus, pushed back, "sometimes, it's best to take care of our own American people instead of worrying about everybody else."
The issue of legalized abortion was recently thrust into the national spotlight following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion. All of the candidates said there should be a full investigation, and all supported the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
A notable absence from the issues list was the 2020 election. The matter continues to be top of mind for some GOP candidates around the country, especially those former President Donald Trump has endorsed. The primary election is on May 24th.