Openly gay disabled veteran, small business owner and “progressive Republican” Danny Ellyson is trying to unseat anti-LGBT Republican Congressman Austin Scott, R-Tifton in the 2018 Congressional District 8 election.
Ellyson says he hopes to aid businesses and veterans, expand public transportation across the Southeast and help Georgia farmers by taking power away from big agrochemical companies like Monsanto.
Ellyson is working under the umbrella of Brand New Congress, a political action committee started by volunteers from Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. His platform includes zero-copay, zero-deductible healthcare for all, getting money out of politics, renewable energy, free college education, increasing the minimum wage and criminal justice reform.
“The progressive nature of what we’re doing, and I do identify as a progressive Republican, is not about just throwing laws up because laws can be thrown up,” Ellyson said. “It’s simply saying that I believe in taking away laws that are not productive. I believe in the restructuring and the evaluation of everything that’s in existence. Some things need to be removed and some things need to be created and negotiated.”
Since Scott won election in 2010, he has supported so-called “religious freedom” bills, tried to block abortion access and worked against family planning assistance. Scott has voted against global warming legislation and has voted to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
Scott has run unopposed three times. Congressional District 8 has long been a Republican stronghold, and only became more strongly Republican after it was redistricted in 2010. Will Danny Ellyson’s combined business savvy and progressive platforms be enough to rock the boat for Austin Scott?