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McGill challenges Duncan for house seat
Sugarwood neighbors battle at the polls

Farragut resident Ralph McGill believes something has to be done about the growing size of the federal government.

McGill will challenge incumbent John J. Duncan Jr. on Aug. 3 for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This is nothing personal against Jimmy [Duncan],” McGill said during a reception at his home Sunday. “I know him and I like him. I just don’t think anyone up in Congress is getting the job done.”

McGill, 63, is a retired engineer from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“I’ve always had an intense interest in politics,” he said as his reason for seeking political office. “My feeling is the country is going in the wrong direction.”

He cites the federal budget as an example, noting that it has increased 75 percent over the past several years.

McGill said federal government has become a monstrous entity that has assumed too much power. One of the items on his agenda, should he be elected, is to reduce the size of the federal government by giving back to the states their sovereignty and the authority McGill said has been robbed of them by the federal government.

“If you read the Constitution, the states were supposed to have the majority of the power,” he said. “States really don’t exist anymore.”

Under this same role of returning power to the states, he would propose a Constitutional amendment that would leave the question of the legality of abortion up to each individual state.

“That way, the states that don’t support abortion can vote to ban it,” McGill said.

McGill said he also is in favor of changing the tax system.

“The tax system as it stands now punishes people for becoming successful,” he said. “The idea of punishing people for being successful is ludicrous.”

McGill said he is in favor of eliminating the Internal Revenue Service and replacing it with a simple tax, such as the “Fair Tax” proposed by radio personality Neal Boortz.

“It would be some type of consumption tax,” he said. “It think there might be resistance to it at first because our tax system has become a political tool. A fair tax would simplify the matter.”

McGill said one of the issues that he would address is the abuse of eminent domain.

“One of the most fundamental rights we have guaranteed in the Constitution is the right to own private property,” McGill said.

He said the Supreme Court affected that right when it ruled last year that a city could take private property away from citizens in order to give it to a developer.

“I would move to establish term limits for the justices on the Supreme Court,” he said. “I’d say a term of ten years and then they are out of there. None of this lifetime business.”

He also proposes no political office holder be allowed to hold office for more than 12 years in any combination of the House and Senate positions.

McGill said he supports the war on terror. He said whether people like it or not, there are residents of other countries that are out to kill Americans. These people need to be stopped in their country, otherwise the fighting will come to the United States, as it did on Sept. 11, 2001.

McGill said he also is in favor of protecting Christians in this country.

“It seems we have religious freedom for Muslims, atheists and everyone else, but not Christians,” he said. “”We need to stop the demoralization of Christianity.”

McGill said he was instrumental in the incorporation of Farragut. His efforts started in 1979. When the town was incorporated in 1980, his wife, Marianne, was elected as one of the first Aldermen and served two terms.

McGill, a native of Charlotte, N.C., holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. He and his wife of 42 years have two grown children.


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