Stephen Simpson announced Wednesday that he will join the crowded field of Republicans hoping to replace Rep. Paul Broun in the 10th Congressional District, which has some Columbia County precincts.
The Milledgeville, Ga., resident made the announcement in Oconee County’s Veterans Park. A press release announcing his candidacy boasted that he and his wife kept their home in Oconee County throughout his 20-year Army career.
He joins a primary race that includes Mike Collins, a businessman and son of a former congressman; state Rep. Donna Shelton; failed 2010 candidate Jody Hice; and party activist Brian Slowinski. The election won’t be held until next summer.
Broun, R-Watkinsville, is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Simpson, a retired colonel, said his military service and tour with the Pentagon separated him from the rest of the field.
During his announcement speech, given before about 30 supporters, family members and staffers, Simpson called it “wicked and corrupt” to pass a $17 trillion debt onto future generations.
He also supports the so-called Fair Tax, a revenue plan based largely on higher taxes on consumer goods. It has been criticized as shifting the tax burden to the poor, who spend a higher percentage of their incomes on consumer goods.
But that tax plan would be much simpler and revenue neutral, he said, while “helping neutralize the vast power of the IRS.”