John Lewis

Democrat, incumbent

U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Previous elective office held: U.S. Congressman since 1987.

Previous community service: As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, was active in the Civil Rights Movement.

Q: Why should the voters choose you for this position?

A:  This is one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.  We have the chance to turn a corner away from the politics of bitterness and division.  The people must elect members of Congress who believe in our democracy and are willing to pull together, no matter their differences, to create bi-partisan solutions to the problems people are facing.   I am a healer with a long history of bi-partisan influence.   I have a track record as a reliable, hard-working member, and I am the most senior member in the Georgia delegation—House and Senate.  That means when I call on behalf of people of the 5th district, leaders will pick up the phone and listen.  In me, the people have a powerful voice to make their concerns heard on the federal level.

Q:  What is the biggest issue facing the constituents you seek to represent? How will you address that issue?

A: The biggest problem is jobs.  As I was walking to the bank yesterday, I encountered a veteran who was homeless, pregnant and begging for spare change.  There is no reason, in a society with our resources that any citizen, especially a veteran, should end up without the basic provisions we all need to survive.   On the federal level, I want to work with the next administration to stimulate economic growth in our society to increase job opportunity, continue to encourage business to relocate to the fifth district, support a living wage, and continue investing in transportation that helps people find and keep meaningful job opportunities.

Q:  What’s the first thing you hope to accomplish after taking office next year?

A: One of my greatest concerns is continuing to find ways to create an affordable healthcare system that works for all the people of my district, regardless of the size of their wallets or the digits in their ZIP code.  There is a good chance we may be working on comprehensive immigration reform, which I am anxious to tackle.  I am also concerned about environmental safety.  We need clean air, water, and food safety.  These are issues I work on every day, and I want to continue this work, to be a voice for the 5th district in Washington.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.