Note: This is one of two articles about the candidates for Georgia's U.S. District 6 seat. Click here to read about Republican candidate Rich McCormick.
As voters prepare to cast their ballots in less than 90 days, Democratic candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District Bob Christian is persuaded by the potential in the region, he said during a recent interview with DCN.
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It’s the Dawson County resident’s first time running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the district, which now encompasses all of Forsyth and Dawson counties and parts of Cherokee, Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
“The big difference that we’re facing right now is that a lot of people have talked us off as not being able to win the general [election], because of gerrymandering and redistricting, and we’re out to prove them wrong on that,” Christian said.
Georgia’s General Assembly approved redrawn congressional maps earlier this year. With the redistricting, District 6 includes a more conservative-leaning constituency in the region northeast of Atlanta.
Currently, Democrat Lucy McBath is representing District 6. However, because of the redistricting plans, McBath announced a bid last fall to run instead for a seat in the politically safer 7th Congressional District and subsequently won against incumbent Carolyn Bourdeaux in the primary election.
In June, Christian defeated fellow Democrat Wayne White in the District 6 seat’s Democratic primary, with 18,776 votes (slightly over 55 percent) to White’s 15,025.
He will face Republican Rich McCormick, who defeated fellow Republican Jake Evans in the party’s primary runoff in June, with 27,455 votes (about 66.5% of the total) to 13,808, after the two were the top vote-getters in the May primary.
Christian explained that while the primary entailed convincing “just people on our [Democratic] side,” now his audience has suddenly expanded to about 767,000 people, with slightly over 400,000 of them currently registered to vote.
“So it’s just a much bigger audience,” he said.
Christian said he sees his path to viability in talking to people of different backgrounds and “by not sticking to only traditional Democratic communities.”
He is also looking to capitalize on the youth vote, which he called critical in the 2020 and 2021 elections. To that end, Christian has made a TikTok account, @christianforga6, which has started to garner more attention. “I’m creating that stir because I have a message that resonates,” Christian said.
Christian has spent part of his campaign time talking to groups such as the Hindus of Georgia PAC, Sheriffs Jeff Johnson and Ron Freeman, the Islamic Council of Georgia as well as Democratic and veterans groups across District 6.
“If it's in the district, I'm talking to them,” said Christian, “because at the end of the day, if – or I should say when – I’m elected and sent to Washington D.C., my job is to represent all 767,000 people in the district, not just those that agree with me.”
As his campaign works to close the gap between him and McCormick, Christian said he sees his path to victory “in uniting people.”
“We can't always agree on everything [in politics], but we can agree on what we want,” Christian said.
Christian’s campaign policies include a keen focus on economic revival through boosts to the infrastructure people in District 6 use daily, from roads and bridges to rural broadband and more.
He said it’ll be key to invest in the rural farming part of the district to help combat rising inflation, particularly with food prices. “Let’s bring that supply chain as close to home as possible, so we can [then] almost immediately begin reducing prices at the grocery store,” Christian said.
“As I've told other people, living here in Dawson County gives me the opportunity to give Dawson County a voice in Congress at the highest level,” Christian said. “The growth that’s coming is coming, and we are not going to be able to stop it, so we must prepare for it.”
In the long term, Christian said that it’ll also be necessary to start putting in steps to transition and grow into a more green-based economy.
His health care platform includes plans to reduce prescription drug prices, expand Medicaid to reimburse mental health treatment costs and a push to bring more doctors to rural areas.
Likewise, Christian said he wants to see what can be done about bringing something like a VA care clinic into the northern part of the district to help veterans better access health services.
“Our veterans have to travel much farther…all the way down into Atlanta and sometimes as far down as Canton [or] to the Southern end of the state to get access to the VA system.
Some of Christian’s other policies include focuses on bipartisan gun safety steps and proposals to help restore trust in law enforcement.
“I’m not afraid to have conversations. I’m not afraid of any question or to talk to people that disagree with me,” Christian added. “At the end of the day, the art of government is the art of compromise, and you can’t compromise unless you’re willing to listen to the other side.”
Christian served for 10 years in the U.S. Army, serving in a combat role in Iraq his last year in the military. He is a small business owner. He and his wife, Frances, have two daughters. For more information on his campaign, go to https://christianforga6.com/.
Note: Bob Christian wrote sports content for DCN from 2018 to 2020.