The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

New congressman exhibits no trepidation


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 11, 2017 - 8:02 PM

This week, I had the opportunity to interview our freshman congressman from the 3rd Congressional District of Georgia, Drew Ferguson IV. The 3rd Congressional District is arguably the most conservative seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes several counties in west Georgia including Carroll, Coweta, Heard, Troup, and Fayette.

Ferguson is a dentist from West Point, Ga. A Republican, he served as the mayor of West Point. He defeated Democrat nominee Angela Pendley in the November 2016 general election.

Ferguson was born in Langdale, Ala., in 1966. Drew attended the University of Georgia from 1985-88 then received early acceptance to the Medical College of Georgia before graduating with his degree in dentistry in 1992. He served as mayor of West Point from 2008 through 2016, when he resigned to focus on his race for the House of Representatives. The seat in the House became open when former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland decided not to seek re-election.

He and his wife, Buffy, have four children; Drew V, Mary Parks, Lucy, and Thad.

While I have known Drew, this is the first time I have had a chance to interview him. Right off the bat, I noticed that he was prepared, energetic, and ready to forge change in conjunction with his colleagues in Congress.

In the past, I have always sensed at least a small amount of trepidation with newly elected public servants. Not the case here.

First, I asked why he became a dentist. I can’t stand the sight of human blood, bones, teeth, etc. He responded that he could not imagine practicing law day in and day out. Fair enough. God made each of His children different.

Speaking of God, I was pleased to know that Ferguson is a Christian, is not afraid to publicly profess his Christianity, and re-affirms the truth that this republic was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

As I mentioned, he served as mayor of West Point for several years. I wondered why. He said that in 2007, the West Point area was continuing to suffer economically from the collapse of the textile industry. He had two choices: (1) pick up and move to a more economically viable area, or (2) help his community by serving in a public capacity. He chose the tougher road; to serve. During his mayoral administration, West Point’s economic conditions improved, the Kia Plant was persuaded to move into the area, and life became generally better for the people in the area.

Well, when Westmoreland made his announcement, Ferguson and other good men sought to replace him. In the end, Ferguson was elected and is now ready to act.

He gave me his three priorities in order: (1) repeal Obamacare step by step in conjunction with House and Senate Republicans. This will not be an instant fix. But, Ferguson assured me that the waste, damage, high premiums, and general failure of the “Affordable Care Act” can and will be undone. (2) Tax Reform – Ferguson, like most Americans, cannot accept tax policy that kills investment growth and business. He mentioned that the current regulatory environment is a large part of the problem. (3) Welfare Reform – Again, he believes that addiction to welfare entitlements must be broken to strengthen our economy.

He and I agree on another aspect of welfare reform; the morals of the programs. Generations of people have been relegated to a subpar economic status because they have been told they can do no better and just need to vote for candidates who will “take care of them.” Ferguson believes this is flat-out wrong. He is right.

Lastly, Drew Ferguson mentioned that God has shown him love and grace throughout his life journey. He prays for God’s direction in this new phase of service. We need to pray for him, too.

He has a heavy burden, and we are counting on him to come through. With his faith, work ethic, and courage, I feel very comfortable with Ferguson representing me and our district as our country becomes great again.

The future is exciting and bright.

(Jason Swindle is a criminal-defense attorney and college professor in Carrollton.)