The best candidate to represent the 13th District is ...

Posted at 8:39 AM on May 31, 2016

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BY BILL BALATOW

There are 17 candidates for the Republican nomination for the new 13th Congressional District!

Based on my reading of the influx of campaign flyers flooding my mailbox, each of these candidates seems to share three common traits: They are Conservative, Christian, and they support the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I had heard of some of the candidates before; others I had never heard of.

Based on party membership in the district, the winner of the Republican Primary will almost assuredly win the November election, so our choice in the primary is critically important. With such a crowded field of candidates, I decided to do some research so I could be an informed voter in the primary on June 7.

In determining my criteria, I thought about the important international and national issues our new representative will be confronted with. Internationally, we have the ISIS problem to deal with and the ongoing struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Middle East in general. We also have to deal with the ongoing nuclear ambitions of North Korea.

Most important to me, we need someone who is extremely thoughtful when it comes to deciding whether to risk the lives of U.S. military service members in overseas conflicts.

Domestically, we have an immigration situation that Congress has not addressed; which creates a continuing challenge to our border security and our job opportunities.

My final criteria was to look to our trusted local elected and civic leaders, to see who most of them support.

The more I researched, the more a single name kept appearing at the top of the list: George Rouco.

Rouco is a former CIA agent who served our country in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a unique understanding of the most critical international issues facing our country today, the ongoing Middle East wars and ISIS. After my conversation with Rouco, I can assure you he completely understands the risks our soldiers face, and will do everything in his power to support and protect them.

There are fewer and fewer people in the U.S. Congress who have served our country in the military or in branches like the CIA, so Rouco would be an important voice of experience in critical military discussions. Our County Commission Chairman, Retired Major General James Mallory, said Rouco’s real-life service experience gives him critical skills needed in Congress when national security is such an important issue.

Rouco is the son of Cuban exiles. Not only did he grow up in America and choose to risk his life in service to our country, he also knows firsthand the challenges of U.S. immigration policy. He has a perspective that might just help our Congress finally find a way to create a sane immigration policy.

The list of local leaders who are supporting George Rouco is impressive. County Commissioner Marvin Norman and Sara Haire Tice, a retired county commissioner, are supporters. Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins and Twon Commissioner David Coble have voiced their support for George, as have former Statesville Mayor John Marshall and County Attorney Bill Pope. Retired Congresswoman Sue Myrick of Charlotte also endorsed Rouco.

It seems that the majority of the most respected leaders in Iredell County believe Rouco is the best person to represent our interests in the U.S. Congress. Winston-Salem native C. Boyden Gray, a former ambassador and White House General Counsel, is another long-time Rouco supporter.

Many of the other candidates for the 13th District have great resumes and care deeply for our region and our country. That is great. But the bottom line is only one candidate has personal experience in the most important international and national issues facing our government today, and the support of the local leaders I know and trust. That man is George Rouco.

I encourage you to support and vote for George Rouco in the June 7 primary election. I believe he will make us proud of our choice by representing our district and our country with honor and dignity.

Bill Balatow is a local Realtor who works throughout our region. Contact Bill by phone or text at 704-904-8769 or e-mail him at bill.balatow@allentate.com.

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