Schmidt faces four challengers

March 2nd, 2012    Author: Kristin Bednarski    Filed Under: News

Congresswoman Jean Schmidt faces three Republican opponents in the March 6 primary election. Her opponents are Brad Wenstrup, Fred Kundrata and Tony Brush.

“I share the conservative values of the people of Southern Ohio, and I will not back down in representing their interests in our nations capital,” Schmidt said about running for re-election.

Schmidt said she is alarmed by the path the nation is taking and said her focus if re-elected will be on job creation, slashing federal spending, cutting the national deficit and lowering taxes.

“Jobs are my number one priority,” Schmidt said. “I meet often with workers and business leaders to figure out ways to expand our economy and put this great nation back to work.”

Schmidt said she recently met with an international company to talk about expanding its United States headquarters in Clermont County and has also been working to bring a manufacturing plant to another area of the district.

“I have sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to eliminate regulations that hamper businesses and prevent the kind of economic expansion that would lead to new jobs,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said she is the best candidate in the primary election because she understands how all levels of government operate. She has served as Miami Township trustee, a state representative and as a United States representative.

“I also know this community – both residents and business – far better than any other candidate,” Schmidt said. “I grew up on a farm in Miami Township and I have lived in Clermont County my entire life.”

Schmidt’s opponents in the race include Tony Brush, a Pierce Township resident who works as a project manager for Tata Consulting Services.

Brush joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school and served until 1996. He graduated from college with a degree in computer information systems in 2001 and moved to Clermont County in 2003.

The issues Brush is most concerned about include the Affordable Care Act, reducing the national debt and restoring faith in elected officials.

Brush believes repealing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority and said the uncertainty brought about through the legislation has crippled job creation. He said his second priority is to reduce the national debt by addressing entitlement reform.

Enacting term limitations is another one of Brush’s goals and he is in favor of limiting congressional terms to 12 years. He said this will reduce the impact and control of lobbying groups and eliminate congressional worries.

In addition, Brush believes that the long-term solution in healthcare should be shifting toward preventative care to make the nation more healthy.

Fred Kundrata, the third candidate, has been a pilot for the United States Air Force, a business owner, a pilot for Delta Air Lines and recently graduated from law school.

“I have always been yearning to serve America,” Kundrata said about why he decided to run for congress. “I believe there is something special about America and I want to give back. I felt congress was the place for me.”

Kundrata said the biggest issue the state and nation face is debt.

“We’ve dug a whole so far deep it is going to take some time,” Kundrata said. “I am not going to slash and burn a budget, we are going to have to make responsible cuts.”

He said he believes his skills in business and negotiating as well as his understanding of the law would help him get things done if elected.

“I have a broad range of skills I could take to the table to negotiate and reason with members on both sides of the aisle to lower our costs,” Kundrata said. “That has to be first and foremost.”

Kundrata said being a fiscal conservative in Washington is one of the best ways he feels he can serve the nation right now.

The final candidate for the second congressional district is Brad Wenstrup.

Wenstrup graduated from the University of Cincinnati, earned a medical degree and is now a doctor and surgeon in Cincinnati.

“I grew up wanting to be a doctor,” he said. “But the military never left my mind.”

Wenstrup became a Lieutenant Colonel the United States Army Reserve and was deployed for a year in 2005 to serve as a combat surgeon in Iraq.

When he returned from Iraq, Wenstrup said he was concerned about the state of the country and also realized he had a passion for being a leader and after much encouragement, he decided to run for office.

Wenstrup believes the main issues the state and nation face include jobs and the economy, national security and leadership.

Wenstrup believes the solution is for the government to stay out of the way of small businesses, especially when it comes to regulations.

He said people in the state have been hurt by the economic crisis. He said they need help, they need more jobs and they need a leader.

“I think people want to look at their congress person and say ‘I trust you,’” Wenstrup said.

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