In the race for U.S. House of Representatives in District 11, incumbent Republican Barry Loudermilk is facing a challenge from Democrat Dana Barrett on Nov. 3.

Following are responses to questionnaires about themselves and their plans:

Dana Barrett

Party: Democrat

Job: Former television and radio host, small business owner, tech executive

Education: Cornell University, Bachelor of Science

Residence: Fulton County

Why are you the most qualified candidate for the position?:

I am running for U.S. Congress with no other agenda than representing the views and values of the hard working citizens of Northwest Georgia. I love America, but right now there is a partisan illness infecting our great nation. I left my job last fall to run for Congress to change that. I’m not a career politician like the current incumbent. My allegiances are to my neighbors. My experiences as a single mom, breast cancer survivor, employee, and small business owner have taught me to work with people with different beliefs, to be a creative and pragmatic problem solver and to be a fighter. My work in the media has taught me to research thoroughly, listen critically, and communicate openly, clearly and respectfully. We Americans have so much in common. If we focus on working together we can survive the current crisis and advance America forward for the next generation.

What is the greatest long-term challenge facing the community in which you seek to represent?:

I started my campaign last fall focused on three things; affordable and accessible healthcare, equal economic opportunity, and a legislative branch of government that works for the people. Today, in these unprecedented times, I believe those three pillars are even more critical. In order for our community to thrive financially, we must be healthy, and have access to affordable care. In order to be healthy, to live fully, and to support our families we must have equal economic opportunities… that means equal access to education, fair wages, and protection from predatory practices. For all of those things to happen we need a solid legislative framework at the federal level that is not driven by corporate and special interests.

What is your solution to that challenge?:

First we must acknowledge that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Congress needs to pass a public option that will give Americans an affordable choice. We also need to address the corruption in the industry and pricing of both services and prescription drugs. In terms of equal economic opportunity, we must stop thinking of fair wages as a zero sum game pitting business interests against employees interests. Both can win. At the end of the day, the only way to accomplish these kinds of changes is to put people over politics, and the only way that will happen is if we get corporate money out of politics and elect people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to work together for the common good.

Barry Loudermilk (incumbent)

Party: Republican

Job: Small business owner

Education: Wayland Baptist University, B.S. in Occupational Education and Information Systems Technology

Residence: Cartersville

Why are you the most qualified candidate for the position?:

Our Constitution lays out the qualifications to serve in the U.S. Congress; but, I believe the greatest qualifications are life experience and being approachable, responsive, and in tune with the people. In my adult life, I have served in the military, worked as a construction laborer, a carpenter, owned a small IT business, ran a non-profit organization, and taught in a technical college, as well as being a husband, father and grandfather. The importance of these experiences has proven to be extremely important during our response to the COVID-19 crisis, giving me first-hand experience with the challenges our communities are facing. But even with that experience, it is most important to be in constant communication with the people in Georgia’s 11th District, and this has been a top priority of my office since day one. Our team is known for the exceptional response and help we give to the people in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District.

What is the greatest long-term challenge facing the community in which you seek to represent?:

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, I believed our greatest challenge was the lack of civility dividing our nation. While we were experiencing some of the best of times with our economy — on a record setting pace — we had elements of the political class becoming more and more intolerant of those with differing ideas. The strength of our nation has always been bringing those of different backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs together toward a common goal — freedom. As one who has experienced how political intolerance can lead to violence, restoring civility has been a key concern.

What is your solution to that challenge?:

The policies which brought us the record-setting economy prior to the COVID-19 outbreak were free-market based, and empowered individual businesses and workers, not government bureaucracy. To recover our economy, we need to implement these same principles. While they had some issues, the relief programs (PPP) for small businesses to be able to help keep workers was successful because the government engaged the private sector to issue loans. The record-setting economy we experienced wasn’t because of what government did, it was what government stopped doing. Through engagement with the private sector to identify and remove roadblocks that were prohibiting growth, Americans built that great economy. The answers on how to regrow our economy and build a better America originate with us in the community, not Washington, D.C. My engagement with individuals, businesses, and organizations, like the Cobb and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, are very important factors in generating ideas on moving forward.

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