Political party: Republican
Occupation: Retired soldier, U.S. Army 1967-92
Education: B.A. University of Tennessee; M.A. Russian-area studies, Georgetown University
Political experience: Chairman Henderson County Republican Party
Endorsements: Hendersonville Times-News, state Sen. Tom Apodaca, state Rep. Carolyn Justus, former state Rep. Wilma Sherrill, celebrity golfer Tom Fazio
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Total: Approximately $185,000
Top three: Bill and Miller Medina $4,600, Tom Apodaca $2,300, Eleanora Meloun $2,300
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?
What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?
“My experience. … I [was] a military-intelligence officer for 26 years, including two combat tours in Vietnam. I’m a former small-business man, and I [headed] several nonprofits here … including the Red Cross and United Way. I [co-founded an advocacy] organization for children. Most importantly, I am not a politician.”
3) On what single issue do you most depart from the Republican Party line, and why?
On what single issue do you most depart from the Republican party line, and why?
“Both parties have lost sight that they are working for the people. I think we lost in 2006 because the GOP forgot about the people they represent. I’m going to Washington to reconnect the people with the government.”
4) If elected, what would be your top three priorities as a member of Congress?
If elected, what would be your top three priorities as a member of Congress?
“My top three priorities as a member of Congress would be jobs, economy and illegal immigration. I would also include national-security issues as top priority.”
5) What has been incumbent Rep. Heath Shuler’s top accomplishment in Congress, and what has been his greatest mistake?
What has been incumbent Rep. Heath Shuler’s top accomplishment in Congress, and what has been his greatest failure?
“I think Congressman Shuler won Roll Call’s 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill.”
6) What measures do you support to reduce costs and increase access to health care?
What steps do you support to reduce costs and increase access to health care?
“We have the greatest health-care system in the world, [but] we must ensure [that] people have access to [it]. Start with tort reform: Doctors … are leaving their practices because they cannot afford their insurance rates. … [Work] to lower health-care costs. Enable people to start [tax-free] health savings accounts.”
7) What course should the United States now take in Iraq?
What course do you support taking in Iraq?
“The war … is about defeating the terrorists abroad before they have another chance to hit us at home. … We must stay overseas until this threat to Americans is removed. We must ensure the national security of America and protect our citizens at all costs.”
8) What specific plans do you favor in regard to illegal immigration?
What specific steps do you favor in regard to illegal immigration?
“The continuing failure to close our borders to illegal immigration increases the economic and national-security threat to our nation. I will work to pass federal policies that: a) secure our border, b) immediately deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes, c) ensure that our nation’s laws are upheld and enforced.”
9) How should Congress address the country’s future energy policy?
How should Congress address the country’s future energy policy?
“We must look at ways of reforming our energy policy so that our energy policy reflects the needs of the country while also ensuring that our nation is protected from all enemies.”
10) Who is your political hero, and why?
Who is your political hero, and why?
“Ronald Reagan. He believed in this great country, gave the American people a vision, and reminded us all how blessed we are to be Americans.”