Jerry Evans, 14th Congressional District Republican candidate profile

His top priorities include help for small businesses, an abortion ban and an end to human trafficking.

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Jerry Evans, 14th Congressional District Republican primary election candidate, 2020.

Jerry Evans, 14th Congressional District Republican primary candidate.

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Candidate profile

Jerry Evans

Running for:14th Congressional District

Political/civic background: Service Volunteer

Occupation: Business owner and entrepreneur

Education:BA, Wheaton College

Campaign website: Jerryforcongress.com

Facebook: @JerryEvans2020

Twitter: @JerryEvans2020

Instagram:@JerryEvans2020


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The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their districts, the state of Illinois and the country. Jerry Evans submitted the following responses:

Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.

As a local musician and businessman, I’ve worked hard to promote the positive effects of music in our community. This starts with local music shows that my music school hosts. You’ll also find me on church on Sunday mornings. I’m blessed to volunteer with the worship ministry in my church that serves our community. I’m always looking for an opportunities to serve.

What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Has the impeachment process been fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.

The decision to impeach President Trump is a sad moment in American history. The process was unquestionably partisan and did not establish a fair process. There is no doubt that if I were currently representing the 14th District I’d be voting no on impeachment.

How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

Since day one of launching my campaign I’ve declared that taxes are too high on the middle class. We need additional middle class tax reform that puts cash back into the hands of our workers. Additionally, this December Congress passed a budget that I could not support. Reckless spending and government inefficiency is the cause of our massive deficit. I’m in support of reducing the budget to preserve fiscal responsibility and am will absolutely audit our budget. As a businessman, I have the necessary experience needed to balance the budget in Congress.

What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?

Medicare for all is government centered healthcare that would remove millions of Americans from their coverage. We don’t need government centered healthcare, we need patient centered health. By contrast, fixing our health care system starts with opening the market to allow insurances and pharmaceutical companies to complete across state lines and our borders. In the next Congress, I would work to reform the system by opening competition while ensuring further protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions. My plan would allow American patients to dictate the coverage they need.

The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Do you support or oppose DACA and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.

The Supreme Court has an extremely important decision to make on DACA. While ending DACA will be answered in the courts, it is my belief that Congress must act to finish President Trump’s promise to secure the southern border. Once border security has been achieved, I believe it is the duty of Congress to create a path to citizenship which allows those who are working to become citizens a clear and streamlined process.

What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?

First, as a businessman I have directly seen the difficulty of turning a profit. Since 99% of businesses in Illinois are classified as small business, I think protecting these businesses and creating a competitive marketplace is my number one priority. Second, we must stand up for the unborn. I believe life begins at conception and it is our duty to protect life. An unborn child is a person. Finally, human trafficking is a horrific act of modern day slavery, which is why I’ve produced a comprehensive policy plan to end human trafficking from a federal level. These plans can be found on my campaign media pages.

What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?

The biggest difference is I’m not afraid to tell the voters of the 14th District what I believe. I’m the only candidate who announced issues on day one of my campaign. By contrast, my opponents have either yet to announce a single policy position or are hiding behind their moderate voting history on the state level. I’m firmly pro life and I’m unashamed to be a Christian. I’d also like to add that I’m an experienced millennial businessman who has the necessary experience to unseat Rep. Underwood in November.

What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?

The 2nd Amendment firmly establishes the right to gun ownership. With that said, my solution to reducing gun violence is to establish better care for mental health. Recognizing and addressing mental health issues is a key component to solving our nations problem with gun violence. I’d also enforce stricter penalties for felons in possession of a firearm.

Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?

I support a healthy and clean environment. We cannot deny that many great cities are dealing with rising sea levels, which must be addressed. I support commonsense problem solving, which I believe is needed to address the environment. Too often climate change is a partisan issue, so my goal is find a bipartisan solution that doesn’t shackle our free economy with cumbersome regulations.

What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?

- As a millennial, I understand as well as anyone the burden of the student loan crisis. During my time in Congress, I would support legislation that provides further aid to students of lower income households. I’d like to reevaluate pell grant caps and work to lower federal interest rates on student loans. Additionally, I’d like to support alternative methods of education by encouraging trade schools and skill based professions.

What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get along with Russia? We need a strong military, but we do not need a second cold war. I’d love to create a working relationship with Russia that keeps both countries from future war.

What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.

It is no lie that President Trumps tariffs have negatively impacted the agricultural community. The 14th District relies on a competitive agricultural market. As a businessman, I will take a stand to protect the 14th District from tariffs that have a negative impact on our community.

Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.

First, we must protect, defend, and promote the freedoms of our great American ideals. We should support other countries path to securing the same set of freedoms. With that said, we must recognize that Democracy requires a certain set of cultural, economic, and societal conditions. It is absolutely not the duty of the United States to force democratic institutions in counties that are not currently equipped with the proper conditions.

What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?

Congress must work to support our military. This includes listening to the top leaders in our military to solve the issues of expanding nuclear power.

Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.

None!

What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.

As a Wheaton College Alumni, I’ve always had tremendous respect for our founder, Jonathan Blanchard. Although not originally from Illinois, Blanchard saw a need for a Christian University that focused on strong liberal arts education. Additionally, I admire Blanchard’s role as a strong abolitionist. We need more people who will stand up for what is right and Blanchard is an inspiration to me and many Wheaton graduates.

What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

My favorite show is HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As a small businessman and musician, I love the Gaines ability to solve problems, repurpose, and create fantastic homes.

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