We know about Carter and Deal, but who is Andrew Hunt?
By Raoul Duke III
The 2014 Georgia gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Though there has been much talk and coverage about the Republican candidate Nathan Deal and the Democratic candidate Jason Carter, there has been little reference to the Libertarian candidate Andrew Hunt.
Who is Hunt and what does he stand for?
This is a valid question for Georgia voters to be asking, especially if they want to be truly informed on who they will vote for this November.
According to his official website, Hunt claims he is running for the Governor because he believes that the time has come for a better path forward for Georgia - one based on personal freedom and responsibility.
Running under the Libertarian platform, Hunt believes that there are three important factors that need to be restored in order to get the state back on track. Those factors are outlined as personal liberty, economic liberty and securing liberty in the Libertarian platform.
"There will be a transition over time to achieve the end objectives [of the party]," said Hunt. "First, people need to see the benefit of initial changes so that more Libertarians are elected and more can be corrected in government. We must move to a free enterprise system and away from the crony capitalism that has been instigated by special interest groups working with Democrats and Republicans."
If elected, Hunt has proposed a Job Powerhouse program, a Top 20 Education program and a Freedom and Fairness program.
The Job Powerhouse program would reward any and all employers by eliminating the effects of employment penalty taxes. This would help to cut down the influence of the special interest groups that have benefited from a long history of crony capitalism.
When describing his Top 20 Education program, Hunt believes that education is key to securing liberty for Georgians.
"Liberty works best with educated citizens," Hunt said. "We need to have quality schools everywhere and give parents the right to choose the school their children attend."
The Freedom and Fairness program would be used to direct and measure success in all other programs run by the state.
"This will bring greater personal freedom by reducing government control over how we live our lives while also having services and benefits being cost effective and properly implemented," Hunt said.
Hunt understands the obstacles that might block his way if elected this November.
"I am a practical Libertarian," Hunt said. "I will promise what I can most likely achieve. With the House and Senate controlled by Democrats and Republicans, I can only get so much accomplished. As we make progress, people will vote in more Libertarians and more can be done."
When the Libertarian party first came onto the political scene, one of the items that the party did not shy away from were the failed policies of the War on Drugs. Many Libertarian candidates since the beginning have been huge proponents of ending the drug war. As a Libertarian, Hunt is concerned by the effects of these failed policies on the citizens of Georgia and the nation as a whole. Hunt's political platform covers a wide spectrum within the War on Drugs.
"I am putting forth a broad medical marijuana bill as well as allowance of industrial hemp," Hunt said. "If a bill decriminalizing [marijuana] does pass, I will gladly sign it."
Hunt is also in favor of prison reform and early release programs.
"Texas closed three prisons and reduced crime rates at the same time," Hunt said, "The punishment for victimless crimes should be just fines, and I will move in this direction as much as possible. I hope to show a majority of people that moves toward greater Liberty are great for society. I will support changes to the War on Drugs to reduce the impact that drugs have on our society. Much of the impact is the crime related to the drugs being illegal and people being pulled out of society to serve time in prison. I would like to have net savings in our budget by having drug rehabilitation program versus jail time, and would work to get such changes passed into law and implemented. Police could then focus more on protecting the people versus attacking them."
Hunt's ideologies were shaped by his background as the founder and former CEO of a leading nanotechnology company (nGimat) for twenty years.
"I am an engineer and innovator who wants to solve problems in the most cost effective ways," Hunt said. "I work my faith in God to carry out Christ's teachings of love and not judging people. I firmly believe we need to give people a hand up and reduce handouts. Effectively enabling people to be capable and independent produces less need for social support. I, also, believe we do not need law makers, but instead need law erasers that will restore our freedoms and rights. Government should not determine the 'right way' to live life nor restrict personal choices."
Hunt is aware that the history of third party candidates running for office has been bleak, but stays optimistic that he can win the gubernatorial race based on his belief that citizens are tiring of the failings of the two major parties.
"I am here to serve the people and not my party nor special interests," Hunt said. "There are too many attorneys in office already and industry has shown them not to be effective leaders of organizations. Deal and Carter are both attorneys with strong ties to federal government, while I am an engineer and business man. I am a non-career and non-family politician unlike Deal and Carter. I am a constitutionalist while they are federalists. I am a fiscal conservative while Deal and Carter have and will continue to increase Georgia's budgets. Carter will take government to the greatest size possible. I am for a fair and level playing field of free enterprise while Deal and Carter have voted in support of crony capitalism."
Despite his underdog status in the 2014 gubernatorial election, Hunt believes true change is desired by the citizens of Georgia and will only happen through the voting process.
"It is possible to win," Hunt said. "But, we the people must take action and vote in great numbers. The best way to take government back is by voting. We need the media to let people know it is possible, just like the Brat win over Cantor in Virginia. The underdog or long shot can win. More than half of the people are upset with the big parties. We need to let them know that there is a superior choice for Governor that is not a part of these two parties, but a Libertarian that will bring freedom and fairness. There have been a number of independent and other party Governors voted into office in other states, and we really need this in georgia now. We are a run-off state, so each vote needs to be for the candidate that truly will represent the people. Do not worry about keeping one person from being elected, but focus on getting the right one in office."
To find out more about Hunt's campaign go to: andrewhunt.us.