By Jason Thompson | United States
Liberty – and the people of the 52nd district of the Georgia State House of Representatives – may soon have a new champion to fight for them in Atlanta.
And his name is Gavi Shapiro.
The 52nd district, which encompasses Sandy Spring and is a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, is currently represented by Deborah Silcox (R). She has held the seat since 2016. GA State House terms last for two years.
She may very well be unseated in an upcoming GOP primary race.
Gavi Shapiro is a successful entrepreneur in the tech industry and a lover of free markets, small government, and liberty.
He hopes to bring these ideas and detailed campaign promises to the State Capitol to give the people of his district a fresh voice.
He offers an outsider’s perspective and wants to take on the establishment by offering innovative, free-market solutions.
71 Republic contributor Jay Thompson reached out to Mr. Shapiro to discuss his campaign.
Thompson: Considering your success as an entrepreneur, why would you leave the private sector to go fight the behemoth in the Georgia State House as a public servant?
Shapiro: Everyone is getting more involved in politics today, and although I have been very into politics for a while, I have been getting progressively more involved on a state level. I went to check out how my state representative was representing me, and I found her voting record. I was shocked and appalled. I checked to see if I could run against her and what it would take. I think I can win so I jumped in the race.
Thompson: In what ways do you believe that Mrs. Silcox has failed to live up to her campaign promises and has let down her constituents?
Shapiro: Well, her website doesn’t even contain an issues section.
Americans for Prosperity actually gave her only a 44 percent rating. That’s bad.
She has voted give tax breaks to yacht owners.
She’s voted against the second amendment.
Silcox has also said that she would vote against a religious liberties bills which protect religious officials, such as priests and rabbis, from being compelled to participate in weddings and services which they object to on moral grounds.
And she’s certainly not a fiscal conservative.
She has spent 100 dollars per voter during her campaign. When she’s that fiscally reckless with her own money, can you imagine how careless she is with other people’s (taxpayers) money?
When you come from that type of background (in big government), you believe that more government is the solution, when historically it is the problem. Free markets and individuals are the solutions.
Thompson: I don’t object to that last point, whatsoever.
Do you believe your success in the private sector has equipped you with the tools to develop innovative solutions for your prospective constituents?
Shapiro: Yes! I was an innovator in the technology sector and I want to bring those same creative problem-solving skills to our State House.
Thompson: You talk about running your campaign on detailed promises – specifically regarding school choice, eliminating state income tax, and transportation infrastructure. Do you care to elaborate on your proposed solutions for each of these three issues?
Shapiro: I support the ESA bill, which has been written by ALEC and EdChoice. (This bill) creates a Statewide school choice program.
To eliminate our State Income tax, I will propose cutting wasteful government programs and bringing our Sandy Springs-style government to the State level.
On traffic, we have five proposals:
Replace HOV and Peach Pass lanes with higher speed express lanes.
Create more roundabouts instead of 4 way stops to keep cars moving.
Create more loading lanes for our highways.
Bring sensor traffic light systems to Georgia to optimize traffic flow.
Allow private companies to operate public transportation throughout the State.
Thompson: Can you tell me a little more about the ESA bill?
Shapiro: The ESA bill creates education savings accounts for any parent who does not wish to send their child to public schools and….contracts the administrative aspects out to private companies… to allocate the money that’s dedicated to that child so they can attend any school they wish, be it home-schooling, or a charter, private, religious, art, or vocational school, etc.
Thompson: I think that is an interesting proposal. Too often, we see problems in education and floundering school systems, and vote for people who want to throw more money at a broken system. I could see your proposed solution really giving people more economic freedom and more flexible options to help give their children the best education and opportunities which they deserve.
Considering that you are running a primary race against an incumbent Republican, what are some of the biggest hurdles which you foresee your campaign having to overcome in order to be elected?
Shapiro: It’s never easy to primary out an incumbent. I am running it grassroots style which is always a challenge. In my favor, it is a small race so I can meet most voters personally.
Thompson: You state on your website that the 52nd district in the Georgia State House was promised change in the last election and that the current incumbent, Deborah Silcox, has offered only stagnation and more big government. Do you find yourself worrying that you could find your principles compromised by the swamp infesting your state house?
Shapiro: Honestly, no. My background has been in the private sector. Her background is a Big Government Bureaucrat. Before I ran, I promised myself that I would not compromise on my principles.
So far I have I have been asked to compromise on many of them, and I have not yet caved. Since I was young, I have always stuck to my principles, and nothing has changed.
Thompson: Principles are certainly to be admired. Let’s hope that your resolve does not weaken, should you be elected.
What are your thoughts on the Republican Liberty Caucus? And is there a similar group in Georgia?
Shapiro: I am familiar with the RLC and I have even submitted an application for their endorsement. The group I’d say is similar in Georgia is the Georgia Republican Assembly.
Thompson: As a libertarian, I often find myself on the same side as the RLC on most issues. On a personal note, what does freedom and personal responsibility mean to you, as an individual?
Shapiro: Freedom and personal responsibility to me means that I am never coerced into anything, and (am) never compelled to do anything I do not consent to.
I own myself and my labor and I am able to contract it out to whomever I wish at a mutually agreeable price, for the duration that I desire.
Freedom and personal responsibility mean to you, as an indivFreedom also means that government will not take money from me and dole it out to corporations or special interest groups which they like.
Thompson: That seems pretty reasonable, Mr. Shapiro. Especially that last point you brought up. Doling out money acquired through taxation to special interest groups is the essence of cronyism. It certainly isn’t a free market, by any means.
Are there any leaders and innovators in the public or private sector whom you consider major influences on your career and personal beliefs?
Shapiro: I am a big fan of Elon Musk in the private sector. He is an innovator and a leader and I admire his work; however, I think that he likes his clean energy subsidies a bit too much and would be better off without them.
In the public sector, I am a fan of Dave Brat. He took on the establishment and won, in a huge way. He is principled and doesn’t cave into pressure or sell out for money.
Thompson: If you win, how do you believe that the 52nd can be a model for success not only in Georgia but across the country?
Shapiro: The 52nd district is unique in that our first mayor was Eva Galambos. She was an innovator and set us up here for success in Sandy Springs.
Her model of government is one that currently has 8 city-wide employees and contracts the rest out to the lowest bidder – who can complete the work up to standards.
This model is how we can cut out the cronyism, eliminate our state income tax, and really begin to shrink government down to size.
Thompson: That is a very interesting model. You would certainly have much less state and federal employees collecting publicly funded salaries and pensions nationwide if that system was universally adopted.
What are your thoughts on the state of political culture in your state, and the nation as a whole?
Shapiro: The political culture in my State is fairly reflective of how it is nationally. We have moved away from the discussion of ideas and instead determine if we like or don’t like Trump. This is mindless and gets us nowhere as a country.
Thompson: I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing gets done when we discuss personalities and make everything a referendum on Trump, rather than discuss issues facing average Americans across the country.
If anyone wanted to help donate or to contribute to your campaign in any way, how would you recommend they do so?
Shapiro: People can contribute to our campaign here. Every dollar helps, we need to print signs, print flyers, expand grassroots operations. Everything helps in this effort.
If anyone has any skills such as advertising, Photoshop, graphic designs, has worked on campaigns before and would like to help, my number is listed on the contact us page of my website. You can feel free to text or call.
Thompson: And does Georgia election law allow campaign contributions to come from out of state?
Shapiro: Yes, it does.
Thompson: That’s great! Hopefully, this little piece helps get your campaign some attention and helps bring in campaign contributions. There’s a lot of liberty-minded folks across the country who would love to see good people elected to office.
It’s been great speaking with you Mr. Shapiro, do you have any closing statements to summarize your campaign?
Shapiro: Cut government, not freedom!
Thompson: Hahaha, indeed. I wish you the best in your campaign and hope to see you elected so you can better serve the people of the 52nd Georgia. Have a good one, sir.
For more detailed information on Gavi Shapiro and his proposed solutions for the people of GA State House district 52 – or to donate to his campaign
Or you can follow him on Twitter at: