As with a number of other races in the area, the effort for the 1st Congressional District is reliably Republican, but has drawn Democratic candidates in one of the most favorable years for Democrats in quite some time.
Lisa Ring, chairwoman of the Bryan County Democratic Committee and vice chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Rural Council, leads the Democratic nomination battle in fundraising as of the latest numbers, having raised more than $67,000.
“After politically organizing the district for five years, I saw a void of leadership,” Ring said. “We live in a state and a district where incumbents run unopposed, and our legislators tell their constituents that their needs don’t matter. I plan to change that. I want a representative in Washington who reflects the voice of the people of the 1st District and meets our needs. I decided to be the change I wanted to see.
Ring lists her main issues as Medicare for everyone, a living wage, a transition to 100 percent green energy and fully supporting military members and their families.
“It is time for us to catch up with the rest of the world and ensure every person has the health care they need,” Ring said. “It is unforgivable to allow thousands of people to die because 37 million people in our country don’t have proper health care.”
She later added, “How can we thank those who serve for their sacrifice, yet force them to receive food assistance because their salaries are so low, or allow our veterans to live under a bridge in a tent, or make them wait years for benefits they were earned?”
Waycross resident Barbara Seidman is also seeking the Democratic nomination — she holds a degree in early childhood education and has devoted her career to helping children. She said good jobs, education and health care are some of the issues that propelled her into running.
“Issues such as supporting family farms and creating opportunities for young people to enter into agribusiness,” Seidman said. “I realize that agriculture is a major source of jobs and Georgia is the leading producer of cotton, peanuts and other food sources. I also believe that affordable health care should be available to everyone. Our nation is only as good as its people and I believe strongly in educating Georgians and people across the country to support the growth and sustainability of families and the nation is this global economy.”
She said she hopes that if elected, she can push for reforms for veterans issues.
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter is unopposed for the Republican nomination and in a comfortable position electorally and financially — the district has gone Republican every election since 1992, and Carter closed out the first quarter of 2018 with more than $1 million in the bank.
He said he is pleased with being able to be a part of the recent tax-cut legislation and budget funding for the state’s ports.
“One of the best things we’ve done is keep the port funding going, and we’ve increased it both for Brunswick and for Savannah,” Carter said. “The economic development on the coast, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, what we’ve done for the economy — that is extremely important as well. So, the 1st Congressional District, I think we’re doing great and I think we’re going to continue to do great.”
He said if re-elected, he intends to keep pushing in that direction.
“I hope we are going to still have economic development, I hope we’re going to be able to finish the port projects, (Savannah Harbor Expansion Project) as well as funding for the Brunswick port,” Carter said. “All of that is extremely important.”