Moore said his feelings on “government intrusion” are in part formed based on the influence of his two moonshining grandfathers, who did what it took to feed their families and were also involved in church.
“I think a lot of that spirit — that the government doesn’t have the right to tell you what to do when you’re not harming anybody — is probably where I get a lot of (my opinions),” Moore, a former worker in the computer industry, said of the influence of his grandfathers.
Moore is competing against Meagan Biello to replace the late state Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Canton), after Moore came out on top in the special election Jan. 7, with 38 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race.
With many issues of importance to District 22, Moore said residents seem to agree that government intrusion is the one that is most pressing.
“My team and I, we’ve visited over 10,000 voters, and everyone that was home, we would ask them what their top issue was. If you boil it down, it comes down to government intrusion, government interfering with their lives, with their businesses, government going outside of the Constitution,” said Moore, 37. “You hear things about Obamacare and Second Amendment rights, and it all boils down to that one thing.”
Moore is a lifelong Cherokee County resident, who says he can trace his family history in the county back at least eight generations. He lives with his wife of about eight years, Galina, in the Macedonia community, where he has lived since childhood.
A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, Moore has been keeping himself busy in recent months with a start-up inventions business, mostly focusing on household inventions. But Moore said that’s mostly a hobby, and he actually retired from the computer industry about a year ago, several years shy of turning 40.
“I was able to retire because of just living frugally and investing,” he said. “I’ve been investing since I graduated college and living a very frugal life.”
Moore said part of his decision to go after the seat, which was left vacant by Hill’s death in October, was the fact that he is retired, and that he and his wife have no children.
When Hill’s seat came open, Moore said he was encouraged to run, but had a hard time making up his mind.
“But then I realized, because of my situation being retired, being that it’s just my wife and I without kids to take care of … I realized at that point it was more of a calling,” he said. “I had been doing things behind the scenes for a couple years and realized I could actually do better work out in front. I realized I needed to just do it.”
Moore has said his campaign was about “freedom and liberty,” which seemingly spills over into his stance on issues like education.
Moore said he is, and always will be, a strong supporter of school choice, and he calls Common Core State Standards a “top-down mandate,” drawn up by “some bureaucrats sitting in some room somewhere.”
“I’m against any top-down mandate,” he said when asked about Common Core. “I think we should trust our teachers, trust our administrators. Common Core does not do this. As with any top-down mandate-type of program, it would prevent any sort of educational evolution to occur. You couldn’t have new programs that might be better than existing programs, or new standards better than existing standards.”
Whoever wins Tuesday will join a legislative session that has been going for weeks, and be elected to complete Hill’s term in office. The winner would have to turn around and qualify for re-election in March and run in the May primary.
Moore doesn’t think that will keep him from getting things done in 2014.
“I don’t care that I’m new,” he said. “I’m there to do a job and I plan on doing that job, so I don’t plan on spending time coming up to speed, looking around. … Being brought up to speed on where the session is at and legislation shouldn’t be an issue.”
Moore said he would also like to introduce legislation, though he didn’t have a particular bill in mind at the moment. When he was ready to submit a bill, though, Moore said he would make sure it would be something that could actually pass.
“I don’t plan on throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks,” he said. “I plan on throwing things to the wall that I expect to stick.”
Moore said he feels a calling to serve District 22 in the state House, and if he loses Tuesday, he would consider making another bid for the seat in the May primary.
Although Moore’s family history is ingrained in Cherokee County, he said he was anxious to represent residents in the Forsyth and Fulton counties, which also have territory in District 22.
“I don’t look at it as three counties, and I don’t look at it as Cherokee County. I look at it as the district,” he said. “Where they’re at doesn’t matter to me. They’re a constituent and each constituent is represented the same.”
He said he’s even reached out to Democrats, because, even though they may disagree on a few key issues, those across the aisle can still have valid concerns and a stake in how government runs.