Geoff Davis Acceptance Remarks May 18, 2004
Tonight this campaign begins in earnest, and we have much to do. I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me to represent you as the nominee of our party.
I congratulate Kelly King and Kevin Murphy for their well-run campaigns. I thank them for the contributions they made to this process. They are both good men with excellent ideas. Their candidacies have strengthened this party and our campaign to win back this congressional seat.
Now, as conservatives, we are united behind the common goal of returning to this district the kind of active, energetic, hands-on leadership we enjoyed under Jim Bunning and Gene Snyder.
We begin this task in 2004 much better off than we were at this point in 2002. After our primary in 2002, we began the daunting challenge of facing a popular conservative incumbent with lots of money, and we had only about $120,000 in the bank. I am proud to tell you tonight that we have ended this primary with much of our war chest remaining. We have over $500,000 left to begin our general election campaign, more than 4 times what we had at this point in 2002.
We would not be in this position without the hard work of so many of you who are here tonight. Pat and I offer our sincere thanks to the thousands of contributors who have given their hard earned money to this worthy cause. And we thank the hundreds of volunteers who have given their most precious resources to this campaign – their time, their labor, and their prayers.
We face a great challenge this fall. Our opponent is raising Hollywood money by the truckloads. There is no doubt that he will be well funded. But so will we. He will run an aggressive campaign. But so will we. He will work hard, and he’ll be a tireless campaigner. But so will we.
But there are also very real differences between our campaign and his. Our experience is different. There are great differences on matters of policy and philosophy and differences about how best to serve the people of this district. Ultimately, it will be those differences that decide this contest.
All of you here know my story. You know that I am living proof that the American Dream is real. Growing up, our congressman cut through government bureaucratic red tape to help my mom buy our first house. That’s the kind of congressman I’ll be.
We have families in this district that have the kind of needs I experienced growing up. We also have entire industries in trouble. Tobacco farming has provided the economic foundation for thousands of families. Tobacco sales are now half what they were only a few years ago. I will fight for buyout legislation to help our farmers, and I will work hard to promote rural development policies that will assist those who choose to make the transition.
To keep our economy growing, we need a tax system that rewards achievement, productivity, and savings. We need a regulatory system that uses innovation and cooperation to work with businesses, not against them.
Lower gas prices would provide our economy with a larger boost than anything else we could do right now. We must develop a comprehensive national energy policy and get it passed through Congress.
More affordable health care is a top priority. A majority of us work for small businesses, and we need incentives and policies that will help more small businesses provide health coverage for employees.
We need a Congressman who can work effectively with the Republican majority and with other members of the Kentucky delegation to bring back more of the dollars we send to Washington. The 4th District has been short changed in the last six years, but we can change that.
As our troops are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, we need someone in Congress who understands the consequences that are paid for our foreign policy decisions. Regardless of how you felt about the invasion of Iraq, now that we are there, we must complete the mission and create a free and democratic Iraq. Congressional oversight of our military operations, our intelligence capabilities, and our foreign policy is a serious job. We need a Congressman who can ably represent Kentucky on those issues. After all, Ft. Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne, and it is important to remember the Kentucky families that these decisions affect.
On all of those issues, Nick Clooney and I have very real differences. We will talk about those differences over the coming months. We will run this campaign in a manner that will make you proud to support us. I will make my case to the people of this district about why we need a Congressman with serious credentials to do this very serious job. What I am lacking in celebrity, I will make up in substance.
As a region and a nation we stand at the most decisive time since the end of the Second World War. That is a call for substance, a call for leadership that transforms. It is a call to build and restore and make a future for our children here. It is a call to bring jobs to working families and protect our family farmers. It is a call to labor together to protect our nation and assure that the generations of our children and grandchildren inherit the same hope, the same opportunity, and the same freedom we have.
Tonight I call to all citizens of the 4th District to join with us to pursue that vision, to build that future, and to fulfill that call.
Thank you for everything you have done and for all you have meant to us! With your help and energy, we will win in November. May God Bless you and May God bless the United States of America.