Heath Shuler

Heath Shuler

Age: 34
Residence: Waynesville
Occupation: entrepreneur
Education: B.S. psychology, Univ. of Tennessee
Party: Democrat
Political experience: None; I am not a career politician. I have been a leader in my community through organizations such as Friends of the Smokies and Character Counts, and I led the fight against the sale of our national forest lands.

1. What should Congress do about the federal budget deficit, which has been running at historic highs?

Congress must implement pay-as-you-go budget policies for nondefense spending, end its wasteful spending, the funding of pork projects. The pork projects are driving our nation deeper into debt and forcing us to borrow money from foreign countries. The national debt is placing a tremendous strain on future generations of Americans.

2. What most distinguishes you from your opponent?

I have a 34-year history of telling the truth and conducting myself with honor and integrity. Those are things that are sadly missing in Congress today. We need a new generation of leadership, not the same old, tired career politicians we have in Washington today.

3. On what issue, if any, do you most disagree with your party’s platform?

There are many issues my party and I disagree on, but I am not going to Congress to represent any political party. That is the problem with Congress today — too many politicians are there trying to advance their own careers and increase their power, instead of improving our nation.

4. What’s your stance on abortion?

I am pro-life.

5. What specific action(s) should the United States take in Iraq?

We must change the course in Iraq. The status quo is unacceptable. We must set clear benchmarks to measure success and ensure we are making progress toward our goal of stabilizing Iraq. We must win this war and get our troops home quickly and safely.

6. What’s your position on the North Shore Road project in Swain County?

As a Swain County native, I have a deep understanding of the issues and emotions surrounding the Road to Nowhere. I am opposed to spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build the road and support a monetary settlement that will allow for tremendous investment in the community.

7. What specific action(s) do you advocate regarding illegal immigration?

I oppose illegal immigration and any amnesty for those who have entered our country illegally. Securing our borders is not just an immigration issue, it’s a matter of national security. I support the necessary funding for physical barriers, additional border agents and any other means required to secure our borders.

8. What’s your stance on capital punishment?

As I stated above, I am pro-life.

9. What would be your top three legislative priorities?

I will make job creation a priority by stressing the development of sustainable energy sources that reduce our dependence on petroleum, while helping our economy and protecting the environment. I will also fight to fix the Medicare prescription-drug plan and to provide all Americans with affordable access to health care.

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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