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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Meet the GOP candidates aiming to knock Dan Kildee out of Congress

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI — Republicans have gained strength in their battle to unseat Dan Kildee from Congress thanks to redistricting but must decide next month who will be their standard-bearer against him in the general election in November.

Kildee, who has no opponent in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary, will face the winner of the three-candidate GOP field — Paul Junge, Candice Miller and Matthew Seely.

Kildee and his three Republican challengers are running in the 8th congressional district, which was drawn as a result of redistricting that’s been done on the local, state and federal levels following the results of the 2020 U.S. Census.

The new district includes much of Kildee’s current district, but adds parts of Midland County, including the city of Midland, which leans Republican.

Junge is a former criminal prosecutor who has worked in a family business, maintaining military family housing. He has served in the Department of Homeland Security and is a former investigative counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Miller is a retired businesswoman who managed a petroleum company, serving as corporate board secretary.

Seely did not respond to a questionnaire from The League of Women Voters.

MLive and The Flint Journal in partnership with the LWV, are presenting the views of the candidates in contested primary elections through the VOTE411.org voter guide project.

All responses in the voter guide were submitted directly by the candidate and have not been edited by the League of Women Voters, except for necessary cuts if a reply exceeded character limitations. Spelling and grammar were not corrected.

Publication of candidate statements and opinions is solely in the interest of public service and should not be considered as an endorsement. The League never supports or opposes any candidates or political parties.

HEALTH CARE: What do you see as the federal government’s role in health care? Given the COVID-19 pandemic, what are your concerns and plans regarding public health in the U.S.?

Junge: The goal is affordable and accessible healthcare and avoiding regulations that kick people off their healthcare plans. Government policies should allow small businesses the ability to better provide coverage for their employees, increase flexibility, empower patients and their doctors, and harness the private sector’s ability to innovate and develop medications and cures.

Miller: I am for limited government. Government overreach has played a role in the pandemic and businesses and our kids have suffered. I will get our schools open and businesses thriving again!

ECONOMY: What federal policies do you support for a healthy economy and to help Americans without financial security improve their economic positions?

Junge: Families are being hit hard by the rising cost of goods and record high gas prices. We need to lower the tax burden on families and small businesses to help them afford the higher prices and to improve our economy. We need to stop the federal government’s reckless spending that is driving up inflation. Additionally, we need to increase American energy production to lower gas prices. Empowering people rather than Washington DC politicians and bureaucrats will improve our economy and help people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Miller: Again, I am for limited government. We need Government out of the way so businesses can compete in a global economy. The current 8th District is suffering from economic decline and we must invest in new jobs and lower taxes.

ELECTIONS: What federal policies do you support regarding elections, campaign funding and voting rights?

Junge: A photo ID should be required to vote, there needs to be strong signature verification for absentee ballots, and partisan balance among election observers is important. Voting is a fundamental right and the election process should be fair, secure, and efficient. The federal government should not be able to ban states from requiring a photo ID to vote or prevent other common sense security efforts.

Miller: I am pro-election integrity. I am for protecting our ballots and votes. One person equals one vote. No more Voter Fraud with Congresswoman Candice Miller!

SOCIAL JUSTICE: How would you address racial, economic, health and education inequities, including our country’s 16% of children and 10% of seniors living in poverty?

Junge: America needs to be the land of opportunity, which is accomplished by building a healthy economy, ensuring public safety, and providing a high-quality education for every child. We need to lean into our shared values of encouraging hard work, caring for our neighbors, investing and innovating, and leading the world in economic production and generosity.

Miller: Flint, Michigan and surrounding areas have witnessed the biggest decline due to Democratic polices. We need to invest locally and restore jobs by getting the Government out of the way to allow businesses to thrive. If we can bring jobs back to the 8th district, it will help our children and all families.

ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY: What policies do you support to meet U.S. energy needs while protecting our water, air and land for current and future generations?

Junge: There is no reason for the United States to be facing an energy crisis. We have the energy to sustain ourselves and we should promote Ultra Clean Coal (which reduces ash to 0.25% and Sulfur Dioxide to trace levels), nuclear energy (which does not release CO2 and is cost effective), oil, and natural gas. Granting energy exploration permits on Federal land and approving the Keystone pipeline brings down the price of distribution, creates jobs in the US & lowers gas prices. As energy investment and innovation grows, our environment becomes cleaner. Top priority is to harness American energy and make gas prices & utility bills more affordable.

Miller: We need to restore the infrastructure in Flint. All while stopping the government restrictions which cause a huge shortage of energy demands in our country. The EPA has too much power.

IMMIGRATION: What policies do you support relative to immigration to the U.S.?

Junge: There is a crisis at the border. We need to secure the border by building effective barriers and equipping border patrol. Additionally, we need to stop encouraging illegal immigration with handouts and other benefits. Legal immigration can help our economy and society, but uncontrolled illegal immigration leads to more crime, drugs, and lower wages.

Miller: I am 100% SECURE BORDERS! We need to continue to build a wall on the southern border to prevent illegal immigration. I am America First and support taking care of our own country and not those here illegally.

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