Editor’s Note: This interview with Chalis Montgomery was conducted prior to May 23—the date of the primary elections in Georgia. Chalis Montgomery did not end up winning her primary, but the editorial staff has still decided to publish it because they believe readers can still learn from it.
Chalis Montgomery is a Democratic candidate for the congressional office of the tenth district of Georgia. I have had the pleasure of campaigning for and working with her for the past couple months and could not be more impressed with what I have seen and heard from her. I sat down to ask her a couple questions that I believed were essential to the citizens of the district’s decision-making process.
First off, when did you become interested in politics and more specifically, when did you know you wanted to run for office and why Congress?
“I’ve always been interested in public service, which often involves politics—to some degree.
I decided shortly after the 2016 presidential election that I had to do more because lives are at stake. Voting, marching, letter writing and making phone calls were not enough. Then in January 2017, I went to a constituent services event held by our current congressman, Jody Hice. It’s been more than a year since I asked his staffer a question regarding health care. I still don’t have an answer.
I decided to run for office because I can no longer remain silent when there are so many families suffering in our district.”
What issues do you believe are most pressing in our district and which ones matter most to you personally?
“What I’ve heard as I’ve listened to people in the district is that they’re concerned about health care and access to hospitals—especially in rural areas. So, I support Medicare for All, with a private option that preserves choice. I support finding innovative ways to provide access to health care in the 10th District.
This issue is most personal to me, too, because our daughter has a chronic illness and when my husband lost his job last year, we worked five jobs between is to make sure she had health care. Earlier that month, it was Hice who voted to repeal The Affordable Care Act.”
Would you back your party’s leadership in the House?
“I think that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has done an excellent job, particularly during her first term. That said, it may be time for new leadership and I would support the leader who best represents the values of the Democratic Party.”
What would you do to help with the issue of inclusion and diversity in Congress?
“We are in an era where more women are running for office than ever before. I am doing my best to encourage other women and people of color to get involved in politics—at every level.”
How will you represent district 10 in Congress, on a national level?
“Since launching my campaign, I have traveled to every county in the district at least once, and been in contact with residents from the district, as well. I’m proud to say that 97 percent of our campaign donations come from our state, which shows me that our campaign has the right focus—what can we do to improve the lives of people who live in our district?”
What are you most looking forward to doing as a congresswoman?
“I’m most looking forward to serving the people of District 10.”