Millard kick-off for Congress draws 100

Published 10:00 pm Monday, June 29, 2015

Andy Millard, democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District greets supporters following a speech at a kick-off reception held on Thursday, June 25. Pictured is Millard greeting Tryon resident Jim Jackson. (Photo by Leah Justice)

Andy Millard, democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District greets supporters following a speech at a kick-off reception held on Thursday, June 25. Pictured is Millard greeting Tryon resident Jim Jackson. (Photo by Leah Justice)

The filing date for the 2016 election may not be until next February, but local U.S. Congress candidate Andy Millard is already rallying his troops.

Millard held a kick-off reception last Thursday, June 25 that drew approximately 100 people, some traveling long distances, including Gaston County. The event was a by invitation only, ticketed event, with 100 invitees.

Millard is seeking the democratic bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina��s 10th Congressional District for 2016. The seat is held by U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R), who is currently serving his sixth term.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Millard said when he first mentioned he was thinking of running for Congress to a few friends, his friends ask him why.

“They wanted to know if I’d lost my mind,” Millard said. “You have a great life, they said, everything a guy could ask for, and you’re willing to give it up? For what?”

Millard said that was a good question and he began asking himself what kind of America he wants to live in.

“An America ruled by cynicism and resentment and fear and division?” Millard asked. “An America where one in six children goes to bed hungry? Where teachers are treated with disdain? Where the CEO of a major corporation makes more in a day than his average employee makes in a year, but the employee pays a bigger share of that income in taxes — that is, if that job hasn’t been outsourced or shipped overseas? You wanna live in an America where billionaires own the political process while a mother who works full time still has to apply for food stamps just to feed their family? An America with almost 70,000 crumbling bridges but no plan to fix ‘em?”

Of course the answer was no with Millard saying the next questions were clear: What are you going to do about it, how important is it to you and what are you willing to do.

Millard, who lives in the Columbus Township and owns Millard & Company, a financial planning and investment firm located in Tryon’s depot, said he remembers talking to his assistant about running for Congress.

He said his assistant Juliet Botescu grew up under communism in Romania on a farm with no electricity and no running water.

“She and her husband came to this country with two small children and two suitcases,” said Millard. “They learned English, worked their way through college and became citizens.”

Millard said Juliet speaks four languages and is a no-nonsense person.

“So I was sitting there whining about the hardships of running for Congress and Juliet says, ‘What do you mean? This is beloved America we’re talking about.’”

Millard said Botescu is right. This is beloved America, he said.

“So my friends, I am running for Congress – and I am running hard,” he said.

Millard told his supporters the problems cannot and will not define us. He said he believes with every fiber of his being that our generation will not leave the problems to the next generation.

“Because we want our children and our grandchildren to live in an America that is ruled by friendship and optimism and unity and can-do spirit,” said Millard. “An America where no child goes to bed hungry, where public school teachers are revered and the average working parent can hold their head high because they can support their family without asking for a handout.

“An America where everyone gets paid fairly and the burden of taxation is shared fairly. An America where everyone has a voice in the political process, no matter who they are or where they live. An America where we clean up our own messes instead of leaving them for the next generation to clean up.”

To do that Millard said we’re going to have to make some changes.

“We can’t keep electing the same representatives with the same attitudes and expect different results,” he said.

He also said he is the underdog in this race, but that’s the way he likes it.

“After all, this is Beloved America we’re talking about,” he said. “When our grandchildren are our age and they look around, what kind of country will they see? And what will they say about us? I hope they can say that we were not satisfied, that we did not settle, that we took the road less traveled, and did what we needed to do to leave Beloved America a little better off than we found it. Thank you — now let’s go get ‘em.”

Millard made his announcement for candidacy in March and has registered with the federal election committee in order to raise funds.

North Carolina’s 10th District includes Rutherford, Polk, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Catawba Counties as well as part of Buncombe County, including the City of Asheville.