Kingston touts his record on job growth, taxes in his run for Se­nate

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

Though Jack Kingston is cam­paign­ing on sev­eral po­si­tions dur­ing his July 22 pri­mary runoff race for the U.S. Se­nate, his sup­port of the re­cently an­nounced ex­pan­sion of the Port of Sa­van­nah hits home for a lot of Ge­or­gians.

The $706 mil­lion state and federal dredg­ing project that was an­nounced last month is ex­pected to be a huge ben­e­fit for Ge­or­gia. Kingston, a 10-term Repub­li­can Con­gress­man from Sa­van­nah, said the port has a huge im­pact on jobs for Ge­or­gia and will con­tinue with the ex­pan­sion.

Kingston alone did not bring the dredg­ing project to fruition. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed the budget bill last month that in­cluded the project and fol­lowed lob­by­ing by state of­fi­cials and Ge­or­gia’s federal del­e­ga­tion in­clud­ing Sen. Saxby Cham­b­liss, who is re­tir­ing this year and who Kingston looks to suc­ceed. Kingston said projects like the Port of Sa­van­nah are ones he will work hard for in the Se­nate.

“To have a fa­cil­ity that is com­pet­i­tive in­ter­na­tion­ally and deep enough to ac­com­mo­date the big ships so we can get our Ge­or­gia-man­u­fac­tured goods over­seas, it will ab­so­lutely help Rock­dale County and all of metro At­lanta,” he said.

He sees the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Re­form and Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act and the federal En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency as block­ing eco­nomic growth with over reg­u­la­tion. Kingston also sup­ports con­struc­tion of the Key­stone gas pipe­line as a way to en­ergy in­de­pen­dence that he said would also help the econ­omy.

“When Obama was sworn in on Jan­uary 2009, gas prices were $1.87 per gal­lon. To­day, it’s $2.64,” he said. “If gas l went down be­low $2.50 a gal­lon, what a boost it would be for the econ­omy and for mid­dle class fam­i­lies.”

Kingston shares the opin­ion of many Repub­li­cans on Oba­macare, the Af­ford­able Care Act that be­came law in 2010, and promised to work to have it re­pealed. He crit­i­cized the law that it had not lived up to prom­ises like people be­ing able to keep their ex­ist­ing health­care plans or to con­tinue see­ing their physi­cians. Kingston added that Oba­macare also has had a bad ef­fect on busi­ness and job cre­ation.

“I think we need to re­peal it and throw my­self into that project,” he said. “It is a drag on the foot of job cre­ation, and it will give us the worst health­care in the long run. We will not have the best and bright­est people go­ing into medicine be­cause they don’t want to deal with the bu­reau­cracy.”

Kingston came in sec­ond with 26 per­cent of the vote in the May 20 Repub­li­can pri­mary be­hind busi­ness­man David Per­due, who gar­nered 31 per­cent of the vote. Since then, Kingston has ob­tained en­dorse­ments from pri­mary op­po­nents Karen Han­del and Phil Gin­grey and for­mer House Speaker and GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Newt Gin­grich.

Kingston said he feels the mo­men­tum swing­ing to­ward him but be­lieves the cam­paign will get tougher. Both Kingston and Per­due have raised mil­lions for their cam­paigns. Per­due, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive with Ree­bok, Sara Lee and Dol­lar Gen­eral, has do­nated or loaned his own cam­paign $2.65 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Federal Elec­tions Com­mis­sion’s most re­cent cam­paign re­ports.

“I think it is a com­pet­i­tive race and I’m go­ing against a self-fun­der who’s got very slick, in­sider people run­ning his cam­paign,” he said. “They put a mil­lion dol­lars of at­tack ads on me back in April, so I think I would be naive to think they’re not go­ing to bring those back.”

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