It is rare to find a race for Congress in which both major party candidates have voting records in the House to compare and contrast. But that is precisely the case in Georgia’s 8th District, where former Republican Rep. (1992-2004) Mac Collins is squaring off against Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall. The 8th was recently redistricted and its middle and South Georgia residents have given their votes to elect Sonny Perdue the Peach State’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction in ’02 and to re-elect George W. Bush in ’04.
The 61-year-old Collins, who formerly ran his own concrete products and trucking companies, fought hard in Congress to eliminate wasteful government spending and for repeal of the death tax. Having left Congress to run unsuccessfully for the Senate two years ago, Collins (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 96%) is back because he feels Marshall (lifetime ACU rating: 38%) is “a liberal Democrat who answers to [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi.”
Collins slams Marshall for the Democrat’s opposition to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), to off-shore oil drilling and to the use of nuclear power—all of which the Republican supports because, in his words, “It is what is best for future energy use and production.”
National security is also a major point of debate between Collins and Marshall, with the conservative hopeful attacking Marshall for his vote against funding for the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program used to monitor potential terrorist communications from overseas.
Two of the issues that the plain-spoken Collins drives home the hardest are permanent killing of the death tax, his major cause for years (Marshall has voted to maintain it three times) and a hard-line stand on illegal immigration. In his words, “I won’t support any ‘guest-worker program’ because they are not here as guests.”
“I vote according to what I tell my district, as I did for 12 years,” declares Collins, “and I won’t do one thing in Washington and say another in Georgia.”