Local man has designs on the Oval Office

Tue, 05/22/2007 - 5:22pm
By: Michael Boylan

If you followed the last Peachtree City mayoral election, you may remember the name Michael Arterburn.

Then again, you may not.

Arterburn was a candidate for the post, but he didn’t participate in many of the events open to all of the candidates. He received 23 votes in the election, but the results have not discouraged him from seeking office again. This time his sights are set even higher - he is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

“I’ve thought about running for President since I was a child,” said Arterburn. “My parents said I could do anything I put my mind to, so I want to run for President.”

Arterburn, 35, grew up in California but moved to Georgia when he was in his teens and graduated from McIntosh High School. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Army and served for five years, fighting in the Gulf War. Arterburn, a Peachtree City resident, is also a graduate of UNC-Pembroke and currently is an anatomy teacher at Jonesboro High School.

As someone with first-hand experience in the U.S.’s education system, Arterburn has a lot of opinions on how to solve today’s education problems. First and foremost, says Arterburn, is to get rid of No Child Left Behind. “It is not helping kids who are faltering.” Arterburn also wants stricter certification standards for teachers.

As for the war in Iraq, which is undoubtedly the biggest issue facing all candidates this year, Arterburn wants to keep troops there.

“A lot of the guys I know who are still in the Army don’t want their kids to have to go 10 or 20 years down the line, so I think it is important to finish what we started.”

Arterburn is currently working on securing the signatures of registered voters in all states so that he can be on the ballots and he is also raising money for the fees for every state. He is also registered with the federal Elections Commission, though at the time of this interview he had yet to raise the minimum amount of money yet.

“I should be able to get on all the ballots,” Arterburn said, adding that his goal was to make the next debate among the other Republican candidates.

Though he knows his goal will be hard to reach, Arterburn exhibits confidence and is willing to learn from his campaign. His failed mayoral campaign in 2004 taught him some important lessons about campaigning and he is looking to improve this time around.

“I was a manager for Papa John’s in 2004 and my responsibilities for work kept me from attending several appearances I was invited to,” Arterburn recalled. “I know I have to campaign harder and that my life has to revolve around this campaign.”

Arterburn’s campaign has the help of some colleagues and students from Jonesboro High School and he is using the web to reach out to voters. He has a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/arterburn4president) and vows to be reachable on his cell phone by anyone interested in his campaign.

“People may not know me now or may not think this is a serious campaign, but I believe I can do the job,” Arterburn said.

If he does not have enough votes by the time the first primary rolls around, Arterburn stated that he will drop out of the race, but he vows to stay in politics, run for other offices and keep building his resume for the 2012 campaign.

This may be the first time you have heard the name Michael Arterburn but this young presidential candidate vows it will not be the last.

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