MOREHEAD CITY — Raleigh Republican Dr. Greg Brannon plans to run for U.S. Senate next year and spoke Thursday before a gathering of his party, introducing himself as a strict conservative who would fight federal intrusion.
He’s out of the gate early to challenge Democrat incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan, who is expected to seek re-election.
Dr. Brannon was the guest speaker at the County Republican Men’s Club meeting at Chef’s 105. About 40 were in attendance.
The pro-life OB-GYN originally from California quoted and cited Bible verses and Founding Fathers and claimed Sen. Jesse Helms, longtime Republican stalwart who represented this state for five terms in the Senate from 1973 until 2003, as part of the lure that drew him to this state and an example of what he would represent in Washington.
“He was the one I most identified with,” Dr. Brannon said of the late senator from Monroe. “Senator No.”
Dr. Brannon said the “Republican values of Reagan, Goldwater, Coolidge and Taft are worth fighting for,” adding that there can be no compromise on issues of state sovereignty and individual freedom. President Barack Obama’s health care reforms and federal educational mandates violate those principles, he said.
“Common Core, ObamaCare, these things are an anathema to what America is all about,” Dr. Brannon said.
Dr. Brannon said he was the first member in his family to go to college. According to his campaign, he earned his medical degree in 1988, completed his OB-GYN residency in 1992 and worked as a clinical professor at the UNC School of Medicine’s Wake Area Health Education Center from 1993-94 before opening his OB-GYN practice in Cary in 1993. He and his wife Jody have been married 25 years and have seven children.
With more than 20,000 patients, Dr. Brannon said he has experienced firsthand a healthcare system in disarray. He said health care is not a federal government function prescribed in the Constitution.
During a question-and-answer session, Dr. Brannon said the president’s health care reforms could be stopped through a nullification process, a concept he said was provided for in the Constitution in which states may be able to nullify, invalidate or refuse to recognize a federal law.
He said that the health care law should be dismantled in a “two-pronged approach: repeal it and defund it.”
Nullification was used by Wisconsin to free a fugitive slave named Joshua Glover, Dr. Brannon said, adding the James Madison wrote about nullification, saying that states were bound by duty to use the process to protect individual rights.
“The role of government is to protect your liberty,” he said.
State Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, was also in attendance at the meeting and provided an update on the legislature’s efforts to reconcile the House and Senate budget versions, which include a massive restructuring of the state’s tax code.
He also referred to recent protests in Raleigh, the weekly “Moral Monday” events staged by opponents of the Republican majority’s tax reform measures, repeating the derogatory term used recently by others of his party – “moron Monday.”
Sen. Sanderson said the protests at the Legislative Building have included gays “walking around holding hands” and “right reverends” quoting passages the senator said he has never seen in the Bible.
He also echoed Dr. Brannon’s comments about Common Core educational standards, which he said are not good for children or the government.
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