On Tuesday, Chris Perkins will face fellow Republican Ken Vaughn in the June 12 Republican primary. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) and independent candidate Mark Gibson in November for 11th Congressional district seat.
Just one week before the primary, Perkins visited with residents of Greenspring retirement community at the invitation of the Greenspring Republican Club. Perkins, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 as a Colonel, said he's focusing his campaign on numbers. “We need to cut spending,” he said. “Both parties need to get together and find solutions.”
Perkins said he believes in zero-based budgeting, where all budget items must be reviewed. “Only 34 percent of the budget is focused on and 66 percent is on auto-pilot,” he said.
Perkins said the proposed budget plan for next year seeks to borrow 26 cents of every dollar spent, adding to the national debt. "Six cents out of every dollar will go toward paying interest on the debt," he said. "After that 27 cents will go toward national security, and 48 cents will go to entitlement programs, leaving 19 cents."
After providing these figures, Perkins said there is a critical need for tax reform, pro-growth reform and entitlement reform. “If you don’t go after entitlement reform in a bipartisan manner, it’s all for naught,” he said.
Perkins said that he and his campaign staff have knocked on 8,000 doors and made 48,000 phone calls. The number one concern of voters heard by the campaign is getting a hold of federal spending. These concerns are followed by concerns over jobs and the economy. “We are talking to citizens who have jobs, but their kids don’t have jobs,” said Perkins.
Perkins answered additional questions from the Greenspring residents and Republican Club members on hand regarding his plans for entitlement reform, his opinions on healthcare spending, and how he believes he differs from his primary opponent Ken Vaughn. “He (Vaughn) believes in a 35 percent cut to national defense spending,” said Perkins, “and a 10 percent cut to veteran’s benefits.” Perkins, who doesn’t support those cuts, said “for perspective, Obama proposed a 9 percent cut to national defense spending.”
In May, Tom Davis, who held the 11th district Congressional seat from 1995 - 2008, endorsed Chris Perkins’ campaign. Perkins said the district is now a “D+6” district, meaning that Democrats are supposed to win by six points; however, he believes incumbent Gerry Connolly can be beaten. “If this election is about the numbers, we win,” said Perkins.
“I’m not a polished politician, just an old soldier who can get things done," he said.