2014 election calendar
Federal, state primary: May 20 (voter registration deadline April 21)
Primary runoff: July 22
General election: Nov. 4 (registration deadline Oct. 6)
State runoff: Dec. 2
Federal runoff: Jan. 6
Amanda Swafford, a former Flowery Branch councilwoman, has been nominated as the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s candidate in the U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Swafford received the nomination at the party’s annual state convention March 8 in Marietta.
A 1998 graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Swafford lives in Flowery Branch, works as a paralegal and attends 12 Stone Church.
She said her political evolution took place in recent years as she became more involved in national politics.
“I started out probably more on the Republican side of being involved in politics,” she said, adding that her time working for a GOP political action committee in the nation’s capital started driving her toward libertarian views.
Swafford is realistic about her chances of winning the Senate seat, acknowledging that the primary focus of her campaign is to grow the party’s coalition statewide and build off the successes of recent elections.
“We’re really going to be working to try to strengthen the foundation of the state Libertarian party,” she said.
Swafford said the party’s focus during the campaign will be on reducing spending, debt and taxation at the federal level, as well as addressing what she calls “burdensome” regulation on businesses. She also wants to address what she considers to be wasteful spending in the federal budget, such as congressional pet projects that keep constituents happy.
“We’re in a situation where we can’t afford to do those things right now,” she added.
Swafford also supports the FairTax, which proposes to eliminate income and payroll taxes in favor of a national sales tax.
As a woman and grass-roots organizer, Swafford believes she brings a unique voice to a race currently crowded with seven Republicans and four Democrats.
“My campaign will be an inclusive campaign, welcoming all Georgians who want to keep more of their own money away from the hands of Washington bureaucrats who largely pretend to know better than Georgians how to spend the family money,” she said.
Because the Libertarian Party of Georgia does not participate in the primary election, Swafford is not bound by some of the constraints in campaigning and fundraising, particularly given the new election calendar that pushed the primary date to May 20.
In the meantime, Swafford said she will be working hard to recruit new constituents to the party and will reach out to “liberty-minded” groups for support.
While there is little risk of being confused with a Democrat, Swafford said she hopes to earn enough votes come Nov. 4 to send a “very strong message that the Republicans are just not getting the job done.”