Retired naval officer running for 4th House District

After years of not getting help from the Veterans’ Administration, a retired naval officer from DeKalb County said he has decided to run for Congress.

Republican Larry Gause told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that he is running for Georgia's 4th congressional district seat, now held by Democrat U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson.

This is the first political campaign for Gause, who manages a hangar at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and several rental properties at Lake Oconee.

“For me, I was tired of our candidates not representing the people,” said Gause, a father of two. “I’m not in the machine or the clique, but I think the majority of Americans aren’t in the clique.”

Gause, of Tucker, will face political newcomer and business consultant Liz Carter in the Republican primary on July 20. In addition to Johnson, DeKalb County Commissioner Connie Stokes and former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones are running in the Democratic primary.. DeKalb Commissioner Lee May, another Democrat, said he is also considering running.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Gause, 48, said he first started thinking about running after receiving poor service from the Veterans’ Administration. A retired naval officer, he said he broke four fingers when his hand got caught in a hatch on a ship during a training mission in Kuwait several years ago. He said that after the VA refused to operate,  he had surgery using his private insurance.

“I couldn’t close my hand to turn a doorknob,” he told the AJC. “I got so dissatisfied with the VA and decided to do things on my own.”

In addition to wanting to privatize veterans’ benefits, Gause said his campaign will focus on reducing the size of government, lowering taxes, cracking down on illegal immigrants and advocating for more vocational training in high schools.