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Candidate Q&A: Robert Lamutt

Profiling a candidate in the Sept. 20 special election for the state House District 43 seat.

Robert Lamutt represented Cobb County for five terms in the state Senate before leaving that office to run for Congress in 2004. 

He lost that election to Rep. Tom Price. Now, with encouragement from friends and neighbors, he said, he’s getting back into politics.

Lamutt, 55, is one of five candidates running in a special election for the District 43 seat held for 15 years by Rep. Bobby Franklin, who died in July.

The election for the Northeast Cobb County seat is Tuesday.  If a runoff is needed, it will be help on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The winner will represent the district in the 2012 legislative session.

If are approved, the district will get a new number, 46, and will stretch into Cherokee County to pick up additional voters. But voters in the current district will go to the polls Sept. 20.

Early voting continues through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the , 4400 Lower Roswell Rd., and the Cobb Board of Elections and Registration,

Lamutt is the only candidate in the race who has held public office.

On his website, Lamutt says: “Government is often a great burden to our businesses and our families. It is my goal to make the government as small and less intrusive as possible. Lower taxes, less regulation and free enterprise create jobs and foster growth.”

(After this interview was conducted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported about Lamutt's tax debt issues. In Monday's candidates forum, he explained that they were related .)

Lamutt is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Cynthia, have two grown children. He answered questions about his campaign for Patch.

Q: What made you decide to run for a House seat? 

A: Many of my friends and neighbors encouraged me to enter the race. It is a way that I can give back in service to my community and country.

Q: What do you think will be the two or three biggest issues facing legislators in January, and how do you think they should be addressed?

A: The most contentious will be the moving of the TSPLOST date to the general election in order to try to manipulate the vote. The date is set for the primary in July and should not be changed. 

Second, the efforts by the courts to override the will of the people and strip the immigration bill of its teeth should be addressed in order to answer the specific issues the court brought up so that we can be prepared in case the appeal of our case in the federal appeals court fails. 

Also, the efforts to strip the charter school law of its teeth should be addressed to re-establish the original intent of the proposed law and pass a state constitutional amendment to guarantee the intent of the law.

Q: How would you compare yourself, politically, to the late Rep. Bobby Franklin?

A: I do not believe that it is reasonable to compare yourself to another person unless you wish to accept the preconceived impressions others have about that person. Bobby Franklin was a true advocate for the Constitution and was always a gentleman to his peers and constituents. Those two characteristics are to be admired and emulated. I have a record of strong conservative beliefs, of smaller, less intrusive government, and fiscally responsible policy. 

Q: Rep. Franklin voted no on most bills that came up in the legislature. Was he representing the views of his Cobb constituents? 

A: Each of us must vote our own beliefs and address the issues individually as they come up and vote in such a way that we believe advances the best interests of our constituents. My record is one protecting our economy, our schools, our families. That is accomplished through smaller, less intrusive government.

Q: If the metro sales tax for transportation projects vote were held today, would you support it? 

A: No. First, because I believe that it is foolish to raise taxes when people are hurting and when that tax increase will slow the economy and reduce jobs. 

Second, I do not like the idea of Fulton and DeKalb County having control of our tax dollars, spending it on projects that the people of the 43rd District would not support.

Q: Given a federal judge has ruled parts of the state's new immigration reform law unconstitutional, what should the state’s next move be?  

A: Appeal the decision. Then address the specific issues brought up by the federal judge and bring it up again.

Q: How would the proposed reapportionment plan outlined by the Republican leadership of the House and the Senate impact the current House District 43? Do you believe it is a plan that is fair? 

A: The district will shift into Cherokee County, adding about 18,000 of our friends to the district while losing 8-10,000 from Cobb County. This district has gone into Cherokee County before, and it has been a good fit for both. I am looking forward to working with our friends in Woodstock and south Cherokee. 

Q: If the Georgia presidential primary were held today, who would you support? 

A: I believe that Newt Gingrich is still the smartest and most experienced of the group. I hope that the nominee has the wisdom to choose Marco Rubio as his running mate.

Q: What current politician nationally or in Georgia do you think you are most like? Why?

A: . He is a strong conservative, is thoughtful in his deliberations, and truly cares for his community and country.

Previous candidate profiles: 

Bobby September 16, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Q: Why did you not pay your taxes A: Although I am a self proclaimed expert on fiscal matters, I made my money by taking all the equity of different properties I owned. I then used this money on other things and was really surprised when the government actually wanted the taxes I owed. To be honest, I just did not think the IRS or the State of Ga. was serious about collecting taxes since I was an ex-state Senator.
Bob Scarmazzo September 18, 2011 at 03:09 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how low a mean spirited person who supports another candidate will go. What has become of us when we use any means available to us to justify our goal? Is this what we want to teach our youth? Shame on this guy Bobby for showing lack of honesty, integrity, and manhood by trying to put out a false response from Lamutt on the issue of his taxes. All of us in commercial real estate (and most of us in residential) got hurt when the economy turned, prices went south, vacancies rose . . . . and we tried to avoid foreclosure like Lamutt. Lamutt succeeded in avoiding foreclosure and worked out a deal with the government on taxes; plain and simple. That is more than I can say for many of the rest of us still challenged with foreclosure and taxes, and have yet to work it out. I give Lamutt high marks as I looked into the matter personally and he worked out his deal on past due taxes and kept his property.. . . . and his workers employed.

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