New District 34 rep. aims to focus on Constitution
by Jon Gillooly
August 27, 2012 12:54 AM | 8933 views | 22 22 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charles Gregory sits for an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal staff on Aug. 20. <br> Photo by Todd Hull
Charles Gregory sits for an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal staff on Aug. 20.
Photo by Todd Hull
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KENNESAW — Political newcomer Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, who ousted veteran state Rep. Judy Manning in the Republican primary, is a follower of Ron Paul who said he ran against the system.

“The status quo,” Gregory said. “The business as usual. You’ve got two parties and one says they’re going to shrink the size of government and says they believe in less spending, and it keeps on getting bigger, keeps on getting bigger. Say they believe in Second Amendment rights but refuse to bring to the floor a vote for a constitutional carry. I want some serious real change in the direction of the Constitution and limited government, and more power and choice to the people.”

In his first time running for office, Gregory, 33, state director of the Ron Paul for president campaign, won with 56 percent of the vote in House District 34, in north-central Cobb.

There are no Democrats in the race, meaning Gregory will assume office in January.

Manning, of Marietta, said she never saw it coming.

“He’s lived here his whole life and never done anything in the party,” Manning said. “I think he’d be classified as unknown.”

Manning, who has served in the state house since 1997, said she and her husband, Aymar, were ill after the Fourth of July.

“We just couldn’t get out in that heat and walk. He (Gregory) had some of his Ron Paul folks that walked neighborhoods and didn’t represent me as I would have thought was a fair representation,” she said. “He didn’t exactly tell the truth. I’m not bad-mouthing him. All’s fair in love and war. You can say anything.”

Gregory views things differently.

“To be honest, regarding Judy, we didn’t even bring her up,” Gregory said. “The only time we brought her up was when they said, ‘who are you running against?’ I wasn’t running against Judy. I was running against the system.”

When voters asked why they should vote for him instead of Manning, he told them they simply have a different philosophy of government.

“I believe that government should be protecting the life, liberty and property of individuals, and following the Constitution and that’s it,” Gregory said. “Not managing people’s money or their lives or all these other things that the government tends to get into doing. That’s it.”

He is the son of Patricia and Paul Gregory. His father is a retired asset manager for Northwestern Mutual Life insurance.

Charles Gregory is a 1997 Lassiter High School graduate who attended the University of Georgia for three years before starting his own computer software company, Possum Delight Technologies, which he operates out of his home. He and his wife, Samantha, have three children, two of whom attend Hayes Elementary School and a third who is two years old. Gregory described himself as a Christian, though he does not belong to a specific church.

Gregory said he discovered Ron Paul and his message of liberty in 2008.

“I saw him on one of the debates and I was like, ‘wow, who is this guy? He’s amazing. I’m going to go online and do some research and read some books,’” he said.

Paul’s message of liberty is the message this country was founded on, Gregory said.

“We’ve gotten so far away from that. You’re either Democrat or Republican, and they put you in these two boxes. Here’s somebody who’s actually broken out of that box and is beginning to educate and show people about some of the things that are really happening in this country that they have no clue about, they’ve been kept in the dark,” Gregory said.

In February 2011, Gregory attended a few Ron Paul meets-ups and started a Cobb County for Ron Paul Group. He and other supporters then decided to form a statewide organization before the Ron Paul campaign came to Georgia.

“Four of us started working on creating a kind of a loose association of meet-up groups across the state, and we called it Georgia for Ron Paul. … When the campaign finally came in, I was just by default the state coordinator for the campaign,” he said.

Gregory said he’s met Ron Paul twice, both times in passing.

“I wish I had been able to sit down and talk with him but anytime you’re around Ron Paul it’s like a rock star,” he said. “Everybody is just so passionate about him, and he draws these huge crowds.”

However, Gregory said he doesn’t take on the title of libertarian, preferring not to be “put in a box.”

“Libertarian ideas are essentially the same ideas that are written for the conservative party. If you look at the principles of the Republican Party as written, they’re very libertarian. It’s just libertarians actually believe in following them,” he said.

Before the Republican convention delegates finally vote on their nominee this week, Gregory remained committed to Paul. But if the choice in November is between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama?

“Well, I’m not voting for Obama,” he said. “I will walk in that day, and I will vote for the person I think is best for the job at the time.”

As for Romney’s running mate, Gregory said Paul Ryan was not his preferred pick.

“I’m not real happy with his support in the past of programs like Medicare D and supporting the bailouts,” Gregory said.

Gregory plans to attend the Republican Convention this week as a guest of delegate Oleg Ivutin, a Smyrna resident who owns Cross Country Supply manufacturing firm.

Ivutin said he’s not known “Charlie” very long, but is already impressed with him.

“Charlie is a man of his word. You’re not going to see Charlie taking money from special interests. If we have even 20 percent of Georgia state representatives like Charlie, who are not RINOS, not representing special interests, the state will see a change immediately,” Ivutin said. RINO stands for Republican in Name Only.

Since the July 31 primary, Gregory said he has received telephone calls from House Speaker David Ralston and others in the House leadership. He’s still deciding what committees he hopes to serve on. Those appointments are usually made in January, near the start of the session.

There are those who come away from the Georgia Legislature saying they need a bath after witnessing all the wheeling and dealing that goes on there. Yet Gregory maintains the way to avoid corruption is to have a core set of values to begin with.

“You have to have a set of principles to fall back on, and that is I think maybe where some people that enter politics and get into the Legislature for the wrong reasons maybe run into a problem. They don’t go down knowing, ‘yes, I’m going down to follow the Constitution. I’m going down to support the message of liberty,’ which is a finite set of principles to fall back on. A lot of people just go for various reasons.”

Gregory cites the 1850-era book “The Law” by Claude Frédéric Bastiat as his favorite book.

“It’s a relatively short book, and it is a 17th/18th century political writer, and he’s discussing what law is and what it should be and that law is designed to protect the life, liberty and property of individuals. That’s what it was made for. Individually, we have the God given or the inherent right to protect our own lives, our own liberty and freedom and our own property. The law was originally created as a collective force to defend those, (but) it has become a tool for plunder or theft from a group of people. (Bastiat) really just outlines what law is supposed to be and what it’s supposed to be limited to.”

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Comments
(22)
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True Republican?
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August 31, 2012
"He's a true Republican and values the ideals of limited government and personal responsibility."

I wouldn't call someone -- by which I mean Gregory -- who is a pro-choice a "true Republican."

anonymous
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October 08, 2013
I don't know where you got your information & I hope it's not pure slander.

Here is the correct information (scroll down to the life section):

http://charlesgregory.com/Issues.aspx
anonymous
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August 28, 2012
He stopped by my house and I talked to him for a while. He brought up the basics and asked what my issues were and I told him. Maybe taught him a little along the way. I am sure he has a lot to learn about how things work, but a new set of eyes and a new voice is usually a good thing. I wish him well
BlakeA5
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August 28, 2012
This guy's philosophy is all well and good, but if his primary interest is the constitution, why isn't he running for federal office? He seems to have nothing to say about Georgia issues.
Watch Out
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August 28, 2012
The Ron Paul supporters plan to take over local politics to gain influence at county conventions and state conventions so that they can make Ron Paul the Republican nominee for President at a future convention. Ultimately their goal is to take over the Federal government.

They tried valiantly this time but "the establishmnet" appears to have stopped them. They tried to take over enough state conventions to place Ron Paul's name in nomination in Tampa and institute a floor fignt. They needed to take over in five states and they succeded in four. Their goal is to ignore the will of the voters and make their guy the Republican's candidate for President.

Since "the establishment" thwarts them, their aim now is to become the establishment by taking over on a local level. Once they gain local control, they apparently belive they cannot be stopped.

David Frum, a national columnist, outlined in his March 2nd column the efforts Paul supporters, and specifically Charles Gregory, were taking to achieve their goal.

Voters would be wise to keep close tabs on Ron Paul's supporters. They are counting on the people not paying attention until it is too late.
Kennesaw Resident
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August 28, 2012
Georgia has a state constitution. I am sure that is his focus.
anonymous
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August 28, 2012
Geez, all these comments from Cobb County folks dissing a guy who actually understands and talks about a government that should be protecting the life, liberty and property of individuals, and following the Constitution and not managing people’s money or their lives tells me a lot about why we have Tim Lee back in office in Cobb County.

All you "freedom loving" Cobb County "conservatives" (probably "rinos", actually)really don't seem to have too much of a clue about either freedom or conservatism. But boy do you crow loud for team rino!

Kennesaw Resident
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August 28, 2012
@ anonmymous, well said! We already know Cobb County in RINO territory - look who was re-elected to Cobb Comission Chair. A progressive republican and RINO.
anonymous
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August 27, 2012
This district's choice was pretty pathetic this time.

Judy Manning is a bigot who made her thoughts about the Republican nominee for President known. She knows what she said and many, like myself, refused to vote for her. She didn't lose because it was too hot for her to walk. She lost because her mouth revealed what is in her heart.

Then there's Charlie. Nice guy. I've met him but he's one of the Paul zealots who honestly believe Ron Paul is one day going to be President. He won't be. What's troubling about Paul's supporters, like Charlie, is that they aren't willing to accept the results of primary elections and instead want to distrupt the state conventions and now the national convention going on in Tampa to try and give Ron Paul the nominaton. Thankfully their efforts appear thwarted but I have to question the judgement and fitness for office of anyone who disrespects the election process.

As I said, it was a pretty pathetic choice that the voters of District 34 had to make.
anonymous
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August 28, 2012
Yeah, anonymous, all that talk about how government should be protecting the life, liberty and property of individuals, and following the Constitution, and not managing people’s money or their lives...thats just crazy talk isn't it? The mark of a "zealot", right?

The way they MDJ completely pushed this story off the online front page, tells me the Tim Lee endorsing MDJ also thinks it is crazy talk that shouldn't be aired to long or loudly.

Cobb Voter
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August 27, 2012
Amazing that people like Judy didn't see this coming. People are tired of the people we voted in doing nothing and truly believe they are indispensable. I am not a Ron Paul supporter and take my hat off toe Charlie for hitting the ground running and doing whatever he could to gain votes. Judy really shows her true character by giving excuses as to why she lost and claiming they didn't treat her fairly. Well the voters have spoken, now is time for Judy and her husband to stay out of heat and get better.
Stu G
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August 27, 2012
Charlie is a man of principle and courage. I'm thankful that he's representing my district in Kennesaw. He's a true Republican and values the ideals of limited government and personal responsibility.
anonymous
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August 27, 2012
Ron Paul is running for president and I believe he is losing. By a wide margin.

That says a lot about Paul's message, don't you think, Charlie?

Brittany K.
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August 27, 2012
Just because an idea is unpopular, doesn't make it wrong.

If you compare Ron Paul's message from the years he's served, it's growing at a steady pace. He challenges people to think and to educate themselves and he creates a hunger for individual liberty for people. Even his Audit the Fed Bill is getting a popular vote now and for years he was just laughed at.

I applaud Charles Gregory in getting involved with something he believes that needs to be done - not because he wants to get kick backs from it.

We need more people in Georgia like this. Willing to step out of their comfort zone and embrace real change, even if that means challenging the status quo. Because while the status quo is the popular idea - it doesn't make it right.
Watcher...
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August 27, 2012
Ron Paul's message is growing across America. It may now be catching hold in Cobb.
pikachubacabre
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August 27, 2012
Yes, just keep believing that. You posting as an anonymous commenter says a lot about you. Charles Gregory is the voice we need in Cobb county.
Tootsie Wells
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October 10, 2012
No, that says a lot about the mentality of the average voter!! I forgot who said it but it's true - "When you find yourself agreeing with the majority, it's time to rethink your position." Lemmings, lemmings, lemmings - most people are nothing but lemmings, which is why we keep getting the caliber of people we've got in office.
RON PAUL 2016
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August 27, 2012
It sounds like Gregory will follow in the footsteps of Ron Paul and vote NO on every bill that comes before the General Assembly. Hard to see how he'll make an effective representative if he's ignored by all his colleagues in the House.
Happy Voter
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August 27, 2012
Typical Judy Manning... all excuses and no action! Glad to see a change in the system.
Well done
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August 27, 2012
Charles Gregory did a tremendous job. He came from nowhere and DEFEATED a long time representative. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a revolution within both Cobb County politicians and Georgia General Assembly.
Watcher...
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August 27, 2012
We need more people like Charles Gregory in Georgia's General Assembly and the Congress of the United States.
FROM TEXAS
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August 27, 2012
It was past time for a change hopefully Charles Gregory can restore our second amendment rights that Roy Barnes took years ago, in case of an emergency the governor can suspend our second amendment rights. So you see the shape the country is in and if it all falls apart it will be up to the citizens to protect themselves from looters and the government employees that will no longer be paid. If you think there might not be a takeover of police assets you had better think again. I think the good boys and girls are in for a rude awaking at the capital this year.
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