John Oxendine, the current Georgia Insurance Commissioner and one of the seven candidates vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, visited Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 26th.
The College Republicans at Tech hosted Oxendine in the Student Center’s Piedmont Room. The event lasted close to an hour and featured Oxendine speaking to approximately three dozen people on various topics in his platform. He began his speech on the current political race and his competitors, comparing the current nominees to the educational pedigree of past governors.
“Up till now, every governor of Georgia has at least taken some classes from the University of Georgia, either as an undergraduate or graduate. If you look at the major Republican candidates, none of them has ever as a student stepped foot on the university campus of Athens,” Oxendine said.
He proceeded to discuss his official political stances such as phasing out the state income tax, improving Georgia’s transportation system, revising public education funding policy by funding individual children to go to their choice of schools through the use of vouchers, enforcement of immigration laws and the improvement of water consumption and waste. One idea Oxendine proposed for the last issue, which had come to the forefront following therecent two-year drought, was a renegotiation with Tennessee to allow Georgia access to the Tennessee River and revisiting the issue’s previously failed case at the Supreme Court.
Afterwords, students had a chance to participate in a question and answer session with Oxendine. Questions asked by various members of the audience included how Oxendine planned to eliminate the income tax and how he would recuperate losses and how his educational plan would affect home schooled students.
“What we want to do is restructure the tax code. By altering the income tax, I’m not actually suggesting that the overall tax be lowered. It’s how you tax. Our tax code is outdated and from the end of World War II,” Oxendine said.
“We probably won’t pay [parents] to home school kids. What we plan to do is to issue vouchers to reimburse them for things like books and other expenses,” Oxendine said, following a question concerning the cost of higher education for the state.
After the formal question and answer section ended, Oxendine took further questions from students outside of the venue.
In addition to hosting Oxendine, the College Republicans will also be hosting his opponent, Secretary of State Karen Handel at their next meeting, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the location inside the Student Center, to be announced.