"A Closer Look" - GOP Senate candidate Heather Grant - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

"A Closer Look" - GOP Senate candidate Heather Grant

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Heather Grant is among a crowded field of GOP candidates running to unseat Kay Hagan in November Heather Grant is among a crowded field of GOP candidates running to unseat Kay Hagan in November

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Heather Grant did not start her political career wanting to run for local office. The first-time candidate entered what many consider to be one of the biggest Congressional races of 2014. Grant is one of a half-dozen candidates seeking the Republican nomination to U.S. Senate, looking to oppose incumbent Kay Hagan in November.

"It links back to when I was active duty military," Grant said when asked what sparked her to run for the political office. "I realized that a lot of times our government looks at perception versus reality. We live off that perception, which is what our government is doing now, versus the reality of everyday life."

Grant is married and has three children. After a career working in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps until an injury in September 2012, she is now working as a Family Nurse Practitioner in Wilkes County. She identifies herself as a "Constitutional Conservative", saying she believes in what was spelled out in the Constitution as the framework for government. "I look at our Founders and when they wrote it, they wrote it in the everyday language of the time," she said.  "If you could read, and you read it, you understood what it meant, what was expected of you, and what was expected of our government. If you couldn't read, and someone read it to you, you could still understand it.  I think we need to get back to that. I think we need to stop allowing loopholes and regulations."

Another GOP primary candidate, Greg Brannon, also uses "Constitutional Conservative" to describe his views. Grant does not seem concerned that the two might splinter their support in the May vote count. "We both reach out to the same people but also to some very different people," said Grant.  "The whole point behind this right now in our primary is to get more people interested, get more people out to listen, get more people educated, get more people talking about it. Whether you like me, whether you like Dr. Brannon, whether you like Thom Tillis, whether you like Pastor Mark Harris, it doesn't matter. We need more Republicans to come out and vote. We need them in this primary, and we need them interested so we can defeat Kay Hagan."

On her campaign website, Grant lists "8 Points of Reform" as what considers priorities for her work in Washington, DC. Among them is repealing the Affordable Care Act that many Republicans have tried to overturn. She uses it as an example of the "perception versus reality" problem inside the federal government. "Look at the Affordable Care Act," she said. "Look at how many people have lost their health insurance. Look at how many times it has had to be changed just so we could try to make people happy. What we're looking at is lost jobs, lost health insurance. We're even looking at people who may feel it's better not to work as hard, not to work as many hours or even take a promotion, just so they can keep their benefits and keep their health insurance. That is not in the best interest of the American people."

A recent survey by Public Policy Polling showed Grant and Brannon tied among the GOP Senate candidates with 11 percent of supporters, trailing Tillis' 19 percent. All three lead in head-to-head races against Hagan. One place where Grant trails is in campaign cash. The latest FEC filing from each candidate shows Hagan with $6.8 million, Tillis has $835,000, Brannon with $105,000, compared to Grant's $107.69. Nevertheless, Grant refuses to let it dampen her enthusiasm.

"We're using what money we have in the most economical and effective way possible," Grant said about her fundraising amounts and spending."I think my campaign can show people that you don't have to spend a whole lot of money to do what you need to do and get done what needs to get done. Just like our government is wasting money, we don't believe in wasting money."

Grant says for her to win the GOP nomination, she first needs to place second in the May primary and be in a position to call for a runoff. ‘If you can get to a runoff, it's easier to see the differences between the two candidates," she said.  "But I don't think we need to worry about that right now. The more people we can reach, the better it is because the more people who come out to vote, the more people who will stay interested through November."

Click here to visit the candidate's campaign website.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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