U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston stopped in Macon on Thursday to talk about the need for alternative energy sources.
Kingston, R-Ga., in a runoff for the Republican Senate nomination with businessman David Perdue, spoke with supporters and reporters at the Flash Foods gas station on Bass Road to highlight the high cost of gas that Americans are seeing for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The winner in the Republican runoff will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in November.
Kingston said although he was in Macon to discuss energy, he believes the most important issues in the race are national defense and fixing the economy.
“Part of my platform is developing more American energy,” he said. “It’s a matter of economics and national security.”
He said national gas prices were about $1.83 a gallon on average when President Barack Obama was sworn into office in 2009. Now, they’re about $3.68 per gallon.
“This Fourth of July, Americans will be paying from $1.50 to $1.75 more a gallon to fill up their car.”
Kingston said the impact on the economy because of higher gas prices runs about $13 billion.
He said it’s important for America to build the remaining part of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which takes oil from Canada to different areas in the U.S. Obama has delayed approval of the pipeline project until after the midterm elections.
Kingston said he’s expecting competition with Perdue to remain close until the July 22 runoff. Perdue has a major advantage, he said, when it comes to his campaign war chest.
“It’s a competitive race,” he said. “He’s spent $4 (million) or $5 million his own money, and that makes a difference. We’re just working from a grassroots level very hard.”
Some of Kingston’s supporters at the event Thursday said they are supporting him because of his experience and conservative record.
“He’s a true conservative,” said Bobby Komlo, 55, of Macon, who is retired from the military. “He’s got the experience. I know everyone wants to throw out everybody in Congress, but I like his experience (in Washington, D.C.) and his military experience. I like the fiscal conservative aspects of his campaign. He’s working to try to get the deficit down.”
Calvin Palmer, 64, a small-business owner in Macon, said he likes both Perdue and Kingston, but he thinks the latter’s experience gives him the edge.
“I’m supporting Jack Kingston because I think he’s the best man for the job,” he said. “He’s done a good job as a congressman. ... I’ve met David and I like him. He’s a good man, but Jack Kingston has the experience to stop what they’re doing (in Washington) right now.”
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.