I began my first venture into public office 3 years ago in Sandy Springs for a number of reasons. First, there was frustration with the status quo. As an entrepreneur and executive, I’ve seen the negative effects that the government can have on businesses – large and small. Even government agencies designed to help the business community tend to be too big, too slow and too costly. I believe that with the right leadership, there is no reason a government agency can’t operate as efficiently and effectively as a business.
I’ve always felt it was important to give back to the community. I’ve been a volunteer in my church for quite some time. I’ve coached Little League sports as my kids have grown up. I joined the board of the Truancy Intervention Project which works to assist at risk children. A few years ago, I left the private sector to become the Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit organization that uses soccer to educate youth in southern Africa about HIV and AIDS. When a seat came open on the City Council of my community, Sandy Springs, I ran and was fortunate to win. While there, I fought to cut wasteful spending from the budget and return budget surpluses to the tax payers. It didn’t make me very popular with some of my colleagues on the council, but I knew those dollars belonged to the taxpayers.
Just over a year ago, I decided to run for Secretary of State. Given my background, I felt Secretary of State was a place I could really make a difference. I started a small business here in Georgia and grew it into a national organization. I understand the challenges Georgia’s small businesses face, and I believe the office of the Secretary of State possesses a few keys that can help those businesses and spur job growth. The Secretary of State in Georgia also administers the state’s elections. Georgia’s next Secretary of State faces some serious legal challenges from the Obama Administration. If not handled properly, these challenges could be financially costly and put the integrity of our elections at risk. As a former attorney, I have experience managing litigation through the courts. I can offer some value here. Finally, I have experience managing an organization the size of the Secretary of State’s office. The company I co-founded in 2004 now has hundreds of employees and 13 offices across the United States.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected, there are two primary things I want to accomplish. First, I want to make it easy for our military serving overseas to vote in our elections. Politicians have tried to fix this issue for decades, yet The Heritage Foundation estimates that 75-80% of our active military are still disenfranchised. Technology exists to correct this issue. I believe with the right leadership, we can harness that technology. We should guarantee our women and men in uniform the opportunity to exercise the right that they work so hard and selflessly to defend. Second, we need to reform the licensing processes for Georgia’s businesses. There are too many licenses and they are too difficult to obtain. We need to eliminate the ones that aren’t necessary and streamline the process to make sure Georgia stays competitive with our neighbors. Most jobs in Georgia are started on the small business level. We want to be certain that Georgia has the most jobs-friendly environment in the Southeast. Of course, I will also work to provide other real solutions, like ensuring our voter ID laws are upheld and protecting Georgia’s corporate records from criminals. I think I can bring my private sector business and legal experience to issues in the Secretary of State’s office.
Peach Pundit readers represent some of the most engaged and informed voters in our state. Eighteen months ago, I hadn’t heard of Peach Pundit. Today, it’s an almost daily read for me. I’d like to thank all of you for being informed, being active and working to make a difference. If you’d like to know more about our campaign, please visit www.macginnitie.org. I hope to earn your vote on July 20th. Thanks for your time.