1.) What is the importance of the US Congress to residents of Champaign County?
The 15th Congressional District encompasses all of 29 counties and parts of four counties. Champaign County is one of the divided counties within the 15th District.
In many ways, Champaign County is a microcosm of the 15th Congressional District. Like Champaign County, the 15th Congressional is nearly evenly split between rural and urban residents. The 15th District takes in mostly the rural areas of Champaign County but what happens in Champaign has a big impact on the communities in those rural areas, much like the rest of the 15th District.
Because Champaign County is a divided county there are multiple Congressmen representing the county. I view it as a positive that Champaign County residents have multiple voices representing them in the United States Congress. I think having another advocate for the University and for economic growth and development projects in Champaign is important and I would hope Champaign County residents would view it the same way.
2.) Why are you qualified to be a member of the US Congress?
This decision to run for office was not an easy one. I love spending time with my grandkids and the simple life we have carved for ourselves in Oakland.
But at the same time, we have serious issues facing our country. I am deeply concerned about the future of our nation. I want my kids and grandkids to have a bright and hopeful future. We need leaders in Washington D.C. who are not afraid to take on the Washington establishment.
I am a true outsider. I am running for Congress because I want to make a difference. I want to help the people in my district. I want to fight for lower taxes, better access to quality healthcare and better border security. I went to college in this district. I raised seven children in this district and helped manage a successful farm operation here. I know the people of this district and I know the issues and I believe my experiences here in the 15th District make well-qualified to serve in Congress as the voice for the voters in this district.
3.) If elected, what is something you want to accomplish as a Member of Congress, and how long will it take?
I am deeply concerned about border security, taxes, healthcare and the tremendous debt our nation has incurred. Obviously, these are big ticket issues with no simple solutions and there are strong opinions about what to do to address these major concerns but within these big picture issues are some specific goals that I believe are attainable and something I would hope to see some resolution on in the next two years.
Specifically, I will be pushing to:
• Fund and complete the border wall;
• Enact legislation making the Trump tax cuts permanent;
• Expand healthcare savings accounts to help middle class families better afford healthcare;
• End the Continuing Resolution process and pass an actual balanced budget.
In addition, I will be a strong advocate for the district, and I look forward to working with state and local officials to provide the federal help our communities need.
4.) Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
I am concerned about some of the momentum behind what I believe to be unconstitutional gun legislation. We can address violence in America without punishing honest gun owners. I will be an advocate for our 2nd Amendment rights.
Additionally, I am concerned about the agriculture industry. This is an important industry to our state, and I will fight to preserve, protect and promote Illinois farmers.
Finally, I am an advocate for fair trade, term limits and deregulation. We need to continue to free up the US economy by freeing it from the shackles of overburdensome regulations.