ALBANY, Ga. -- Like many politicians before him, Republican Secretary of State candidate Doug MacGinnitie claims he's no "career politician." But in MacGinnitie's case, he might have a point.
His portfolio to elected office contains just a three-year stint on the Sandy Springs City Council.
"I'm a business man," MacGinnitie said Wednesday as he swung through Albany on a campaign trip through Southwest Georgia. "And we need a business man in the Secretary of State office to help get government out of the way of our small businesses."
MacGinnitie, 43, will face incumbent Brian Kemp on Tuesday in the Republican primary. The Democratic field consists of four candidates.
"Two years ago, a partner and I started Beecher Carlson (an insurance brokerage) and today we have created more than 500 jobs along the way," MacGinnitie said. "If elected, my first priority will be making things easier for people starting new small businesses in the state of Georgia. Small businesses will create 75 percent of the new jobs in this state.
"Reducing unnecessary obstacles for them is the fastest way to re-energize the economy."
MacGinnitie, who holds degrees from Dartmouth and the Emory School of Law, says election reform is also in his sights.
"We must improve the integrity of our elections in Georgia," MacGinnitie said. "Voter ID and proof of citizenship is crucial. The next secretary of state will likely be in court fighting the Obama Administration over these two laws. My legal background will help us fight for Voter ID without wasting money.
MacGinnitie also wants to make it easier for U.S. service personnel overseas to vote by absentee ballot.
"Heritage Foundation research conducted in 2008 found that 75-80 percent of U.S. military voters were effectively disenfranchised, unable to request or return an absentee ballot within the time limits required by law," MacGinnitie said. "Local officials often reject military absentee ballots at far higher rates than other absentee ballots, and military personnel and overseas citizens are legally required to use the absentee ballot process. We are requiring them to vote in a way that disqualifies their ballots.
"A Georgia soldier can request an absentee ballot via fax or email but must return the ballot by mail. In runoffs, it is virtually impossible for active duty military personnel who are forward deployed in combat zones, on ships, or aboard submarines to request and return a ballot in four weeks, yet that is exactly what they are required to do in order for their vote to count. While they are in harms way, under fire risking their lives to protect our freedom, we are denying them theirs."