WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Greg Brannon rushed onto North Carolina's political scene in 2014. The little-known obstetrician from Cary entered the Republican Senatorial Primary, and his "constitutional conservative" views quickly made him the favorite of Tea Party supporters. Brannon won several endorsements during that campaign, specifically from Senator Rand Paul and Senator Mike Lee, on his way to gathering 27 percent of the primary votes and finishing second behind eventual winner Thom Tillis. Brannon is back in 2016 for a second attempt at securing a seat in the Senate, as a challenger to Sen. Richard Burr's re-election campaign. While 2014 was a campaign proving to voters that he 'knew the material", Brannon says this year he's showing more of a personal side to his candidacy.
"I want them to know who I am, why I'm doing this," Brannon said after the town hall meeting. "It really is for my babies, for the nine thousand I've delivered. I believe America is at a crossroads. Are we a socialist country with progressive ideas, or are we based upon the individual, a republic based on God's natural law?"
Brannon is not shy about painting the incumbent senator as an "establishment candidate", criticizing Burr on past votes to raise the country's debt ceiling and funding Planned Parenthood. Brannon says that unlike Burr and other "career politicians", he will be a consistent conservative with decisions and beliefs based on the U.S. Constitution.
Brannon campaigns on opposing "Big Government", and removing the federal government from the lives of the American people. Brannon says he would work on eliminating federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education and the Bureau of Land Management if elected to represent North Carolina. He believes bigger government "dehumanizes" individuals, making them more reliant on others instead of themselves.
"You don't think the state of North Carolina, or local governments or local areas could do education better, or healthcare better (than the federal government)?" Brannon asked a group in Wilmington recently. "The federal government has certain functions under Article 1, Section 8 (of the Constitution). Why do we run them to every other function? All that does is build monopolies and power, and corrupt people. Then you're begging for the federal government to come and solve your problems, when the problem is actually at a level where the free market can answer. We don't need government to save our life from everything. In fact, they are not good at everything."
Brannon is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment ("the idea of a government dictating who can protect themselves is unacceptable"), staunch opponent of Obamacare ("I would vote to defund and repeal the President's Affordable Care Act, which is neither "affordable" nor "care") and staunch proponent of the free market system, which he believes can improve essential services such as education.
"The idea that the government has the answer is ludicrous," Brannon said. "In North Carolina, I think we have about 288,000 children now in private school or home school. I want charter school and public schools to compete. When they compete for the best, I think the education vocation will be the highest paid job in the United States, if it is in a free market. I love education so much, I want the federal government out of it."