After years of being split between Georgia’s 7th and 9th Congressional districts, a new Congressman representing Dawson County is ready to get to work in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Rich McCormick, a surgeon and Navy and Marine Corps veteran, was chosen by voters in November and has already voted in the election rounds for the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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He will be formally sworn in once a speaker has been chosen.
McCormick and his team have prepared for his term with several weeks of meetings on legislation, leadership, ethics and more and “getting some of the phenomenal talent, people who have real experience in being able to do constituent services.”
“That’s our main focus, actually,” McCormick said. “I think a lot of times you can get enamored with the D.C. idea that you’re a congressman and that’s the most important thing, but if you’re only one of 435 votes, you have a certain amount of influence based on your relationships and on your voting record, but really your biggest impact as a legislator as a representative of your district is to make sure your constituent services are squared away.”
McCormick added that he has been meeting with others new to Congress “so that once we are actually sworn in, we can hit the ground running.”
“I worked really hard to develop key relationships with my class – which is a large class of over 70 members, almost 50 freshmen Republicans from the class alone, 15 of those are going to be military – just making sure that we have great relationships so that we are trying to convince each other of legislation that will affect our district, our state or our great country, that we have the relationships that are influential,” he said.
McCormick defeated Democratic candidate Bob Christian in the general election, winning nearly 207,000 votes or 62.22% of the more than 332,000 ballots cast, to Christian’s nearly 126,000 votes, about 37.78%.
In Dawson County, McCormick won a larger percentage of votes, earning more than 11,850 votes or 85.47% to Christian’s 2,014 or 14.53%.
District 6 represents all of Forsyth and Dawson counties and portions of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
With the district being new after reapportionment and redistricting, McCormick also faced pressure from fellow Republicans in the party’s primary.
In June, he defeated Republican Jake Evans in a runoff after the two were the top vote-getters in May’s primary.
McCormick also previously faced Carolyn Bourdeaux in 2020 in a race for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District.
With the elections over, McCormick said he is ready to get to work.
With his experience in the medical field, including working as an emergency room surgeon at Northside Hospital Gwinnett, McCormick said health care was a major focus in the session, saying he was able to “witness the frustration of patients and see the problem when we don’t have affordable medications or affordable health care because of the way we legislate.”
“Health care is going to be a monster that we need to tackle,” McCormick said. “It is the largest expense for [the] government, in other words, your tax dollars. It is also the largest inflationary cost. It has increased more than everything else, including education, as a major consumption of tax dollars. It is also the second largest consumer of funds for business owners.”
As a veteran who served in Afghanistan as a Marine pilot, McCormick said he hoped to be appointed to the House’s Armed Services Committee and wanted to be involved in any investigations into the military’s withdrawal from the country.
“I want to make sure that we hold accountable those people who were responsible for the worst withdrawal we’ve ever had from a war and the fact that we basically empowered our enemies after a billion-dollar investment where thousands and thousands of Americans died and tens of thousands of Afghanis died, that we basically just left and did nothing to secure a nation that was secure at the time. It’s a criminal event really, in my opinion, and we need to hold those people accountable,” he said.
McCormick said he was excited to be part of a newly Republican-controlled House but said he expected pushback from a Democratic Senate and President Joe Biden.
“We have a narrow majority, obviously. We’re going to be frustrated because we are working against a Senate that is not always in line with us and certainly a presidency that is certainly not in line with us,” he said. “You’ve seen not just leaning, but a hard push to the far left, where, in my opinion, they have represented not just a liberal government, I’m just going to say it, people always talk about socialist government, I’m going to say, communist.”
McCormick said his views were due to the government’s attempts to limit gun ownership, its work with tech companies on censorship, the push to affirm transgenderism, its decisions for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and increased taxes.
McCormick said he and his team will be involved in the community and recently opened a new office in Cumming at 115 W. Courthouse Square.
“If they want to get ahold of us, they will have the ability to get ahold of us,” he said. “They’re not just going to receive form letters; they’re going to receive real responses and we want to acknowledge that not everyone has the same beliefs but that we are definitely trying to serve the people. That is our biggest goal in life is to make sure they feel like they have direct representation of what they believe in.”
McCormick served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and is a former Marine pilot who has served in Africa, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.
He is a graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine. He and his wife, Debra, have seven children. For more information, go to McCormick.house.gov/