Congressional District 14 Republican Candidates debate virtually

Eight Republican candidates for Georgia’s 14th Congressional district met virtually to debate on Monday afternoon. 

While the candidates are all supportive of certain issues like building the U.S.-Mexico border wall and defending President Donald Trump, rivalries arose on other issues. 

Former Georgia school superintendent John Barge criticized business owner Marjorie Taylor Greene for her original candidacy in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. 

Greene announced her bid for the seat shortly after U.S. Rep. Tom Graves said he was retiring from the 14th District. She has since moved there.

“My values line up perfectly with the people of Northwest Georgia,” she said. 

Barge accused her of being an “opportunist” and said she would do whatever it takes to get to Washington. 

Air Force veteran Ben Bullock also originally entered a different race. He said he would run for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in 2019, but switched to the 14th District in January. 

He revealed during the debate that he had recently moved to Paulding County. 

“I have over 200 years of family history in this district,” he said. 

Barge also faced criticism from his opponents, specifically over his implementation of Common Core education standards in Georgia. 

He said that he opposed the policy but was required to implement it as part of his job. 

Neurosurgeon John Cowan was questioned about his business relationship with China. He owns a toy company that relies on trade from China.

Former state Rep. Bill Hembree and businessman Matt Laughridge accused Cowan of failing to create American jobs and profiting off Chinese manufacturing. 

“I think I’m uniquely positioned to help President Trump about China because...I can work with him figure out what manufacturing we actually have to do here protect our national security,” Cowan said in response. 

State Rep. Kevin Cooke and business owner Andy Gunther also participated in the debate. 

Lawyer Clayton Fuller was not able to participate in the debate because he is deployed with the National Guard. 

Whichever Republican candidate wins the June 9th primary election will face Democrat and implementation specialist Kevin Van Ausdal in November.

Visit AJC.com for more coverage of The Atlanta Press Club’s primary debates on May 3 and 4.

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