Editor’s note: U.S. District 11 includes part of Sandy Springs and Buckhead. The Neighbor profiled candidate William Llop of Sandy Springs on June 13. This edition includes a profile of incumbent U.S. District 11 Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta. The winner of the July 31 election will face Democratic contender Patrick Thompson of Roswell in November.
Without holding political office, Marietta resident Michael S. Opitz helped further the careers of fellow Republicans like governors Nathan Deal and Sonny Perdue, U. S. District 6 Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Now, at age 66, it’s Opitz’ turn to run — for the first time since he stumped against, then supported, Bob Barr for District 7 in 1994.
“Congress has an approval rating of 10 percent,” said Opitz, husband of 33 years to the former Becky Mills and father of their children Kristin, Brandon and Bradley. “I will bring a new voice to Congress and push hard to seriously address our nation’s problems.”
A mediator and arbitrator at Turning Points Mediation in Buckhead, Opitz said he will bring those skills to his new job.
“I am a problem solver, and we need problem solvers, not people who only react once a problem surfaces,” said the 1980 graduate of University of West Georgia with a master’s degree in psychology. “I will work for the citizens of the 11th District to develop the most responsive constituent services in Congress while restoring the strengths of America.”
His plan, Opitz said, includes white- and blue-collar job creation — and restoration — through the passage of House Resolution 25 to replace federal income taxes with a nationwide, 23 percent sales tax.
“I support the Fair Tax which would make our exports price competitive and spur job creation in the U.S. and Georgia,” he said. “We need to bring manufacturing back from China and Third World countries by changing the laws that have forced American companies to move offshore.”
The founder and president of Marietta nonprofit The Madison Forum and a retired AT&T/Lucent Technologies telecommunications manager, Opitz said he also plans to help balance the national budget.
“I propose that we cut federal government agencies by 10 percent, just as private companies do when they become ineffectively bloated,” he said. “We should reduce government spending by 1 percent per year on each dollar spent until we are stabilized.”
Opitz said another top issue is illegal immigration.
“I will push to build the southern border fence and enforce existing federal laws. As a former special agent with the Air Force office of special investigations, I have an appreciation of the challenges faced by law enforcement,” he said, “and local enforcement is the foundation for safe communities.”
On the web: www.OpitzForCongress.org or