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One-on-One interview with 14th district candidate Jennifer Strahan

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia’s 14th congressional district is solidly conservative -- 70% Republican, according to Georgiavotes.com. The incumbent is first-term Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. But she’s facing a GOP challenge from a political newcomer. Jennifer Strahan says Georgia 14 deserves a lawmaker who’s more committed to getting results than she is to her own celebrity, a clear shot at Greene.

“You don’t have to sacrifice effectiveness for conservative values. And that’s the position that our district has been put in,” Strahan tells CBS46 during a visit to our offices.

That’s the pitch from Strahan: all the policy positions conservatives want – on guns, government spending and abortion -- without the constant barrage of controversy, confrontation and punch lines that have punctuated Marjorie Taylor Greene’s two years in Washington.

One national magazine calls Strahan “Marjorie with a brain.”

RELATED: On the campaign trail with Marjorie Taylor Greene

“We need a serious representative who’s willing to have the tough conversations and push back on the very progressive agenda items that we’re seeing,” Strahan says. “And (who) has the influence to actually change some of those policies and put forward policy that makes sense for Georgia.”

Is Strahan calling Marjorie Taylor Greene “unserious” as a lawmaker?

Strahan gets specific, “I would say that we have seen no results from her time in congress.”

She describes herself as a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, and a Christian. She has a Ph.D. in healthcare leadership and started a consulting firm that she says has helped healthcare companies eliminate tens of millions of dollars in waste and wasteful spending.

RELATED: GEORGIA’S MAY PRIMARY: A look at who’s running in the big races

Strahan says she voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and supports his policies. Though, she veers from the former president over his false claims about the 2020 election.

“Correct,” she begins, “so very much support President Trump’s administration, the policies you know, as a business owner. I felt the tax cuts. I think everybody in America felt the benefits for the economy. We definitely had safer international relationships when we think about, that across the board. And those were very real, tangible solutions that we saw. So very much support President Trump’s policies and administration again, the successes they had. In terms of the 2020 election, I do believe that Joe Biden is our president.”

Strahan is part of a growing number of Republicans willing to admit publicly that Biden won, fair and square. And while polls show that puts her at odds with a large portion of the GOP base, she says Georgia conservatives should feel comfortable casting a ballot for her.

“Yes, we need to have fair and secure elections,” she says. “We also need to address inflation. We need to address supply chain challenges. We need to address border security. I mean, these are again, issues that you can’t just focus on a single piece of this. We have to have a comprehensive view and we have to be able to push back on, again, the very progressive agenda items we’re seeing.”

Then, Strahan returns to the subject of her opponent, without ever mentioning her by name. “When you don’t have relationships with colleagues. you can’t do that. And that hurts our district to not have that in our representation. Then we don’t have an effective voice.”

Georgia allows for open primaries, meaning anyone can vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. On the Democratic side, there are three candidates running for the party’s nomination – Wendy Davis, Marcus Flowers, and Holly McCormack. Early voting runs until May 20. Primary Election Day is May 24.

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

Raw interview with Jennifer Strahan