Baker man running for Congress

Political newcomer and Baker businessman Craig McCulloch has entered the race for Louisiana’s congressional 6th District.

The former Nicholls State University football player said he wants to bring a hard-working, common-sense approach to Washington, D.C.

“I’ll work as hard as I can work,” McCulloch said. “I learned the value of a dollar while I was in college, when I was working in the oil fields. I know what it is to make an honest living.”

Running as a Republican, McCulloch said he never seriously planned to run for public office.

That held true until January when McCulloch and his wife, Wanda, watched on television as Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill.

“I’m a small-business owner. I don’t like the way Washington is being run, with the overspending and the huge deficits,” he said. “I don’t agree with it. I felt that it was time to put my hat in the ring.”

After transferring from Nicholls State, McCulloch earned his bachelor’s degree from LSU’s Department of Physical Therapy in New Orleans. He later opened the Baker Physical Therapy Clinic, a business he’s been running for the past 30 years.

McCulloch acknowledges it won’t be easy for someone who’s never held public office to get to Washington, D.C., and immediately have an impact. He said what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in pragmatism and hard work.

“If I didn’t think I could make a difference, I wouldn’t be running,” he said.

If elected, McCulloch said, he doesn’t plan on a career in Congress. He said he would call it quits after 10 years.

Other than eliminating wasteful spending, McCulloch said he would push to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s polarizing Affordable Care Act.

“Obviously we need health care reform, but what we need is something sensible,” he said. “I support something that is based on affordability, being able to sell insurance across state lines, health savings accounts and allowing people to keep their insurance when they change jobs.”

McCulloch is married with three children and four step-children.

The 6th District seat is up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election because Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, is running for the Senate.

McCulloch will be joined in the race by LaPlace real estate broker Richard Dean Lieberman, who is running as a Democrat, and several Republicans including: Charles “Trey” Thomas, a Baton Rouge teacher and businessman; Baton Rouge tax lawyer Cassie Felder; tax lawyer and state Sen. Dan Claitor, of Baton Rouge; and Baton Rouge business owner Paul Dietzel II.

Based in south Baton Rouge, the 6th District also includes all or part of East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, Terrebonne and West Baton Rouge parishes.