Editor's note: Today The Journal continues a five-day series of guest columns written by the Republican candidates for the U.S. House seat in Iowa's 4th District in the June 2 primary election. The columns will be published, in alphabetical order, each day through Saturday.
When you’ve got a problem, who can you rely on? A politician or your neighbor?
For decades, we’ve watched politicians forget, fumble, or just kick the can down the road on every critical issue facing our nation.
National debt? They’ve all but bankrupted the country. Immigration crisis? They’ve left our border open to human traffickers. Unborn life? They’ve let Planned Parenthood go fully funded - and don’t let them tell you they’ve done any different.
No Iowa neighbor would want their record. So why do we, We the People, keep tolerating their failure?
My name is Bret Richards. I’m not a career politician and I never want to be. But I am proud to be a veteran of our United States Army, a successful family businessman, and the board chair of a regional hospital.
And over the past 16 months, travelling over 70,000 miles to meet with thousands of Iowans, the best compliment I’ve gotten time and again is “you’re just like my neighbor” — an everyday Iowan who knows how to get the job done. Someone with the life experience and work ethic to fix the federal government. Someone who knows that the strength of our country is in our people, not the politicians.
To me, politics is about public service, not personal gain. I’m committed to serving at most five terms (10 years) in Congress, then heading back home to Irwin, Iowa. Because we know too well what happens when a politician mortgages his principles for a PAC check and a career in D.C.
The main problem facing our nation is we’ve let political insiders, who don’t follow the rules they write for us, put our nation at risk with political games.
Do you believe they can fix our lives from their marbled halls 1,000 miles away? Of course not. The solution is next to you. It’s your spouse, your cousin, or your neighbor - the heartland Iowans who actually get things done.
A fifth-generation Iowan, I grew up in Irwin pulling pigs, bleeding brakes, and running a service station with my parents where I learned hard work is its own reward. After college, I served our country overseas as an Army combat engineer officer. Then I came right back to Irwin with my high school sweetheart, Jill, to start our own family and raise three kids in the same small town with the same values we were taught. Along the way, we built up a successful family business that employed over 300 Iowans.
I’m a conservative who lives out his principles in his day-to-day life. I'm pro-life, a strong defender of the Second Amendment, and a true fiscal conservative committed to balanced budgets. But above all, I am a Christian and a patriot. And so, I can’t sit by and watch these politicians keep putting themselves first and our country last.
They starve our family farms by writing regulations to give four global companies a monopoly. They shackle our doctors with rules that keep them looking at computer screens more than their patients. And they pick petty partisan fights to divide our nation rather than unifying the country around fixing our crumbling roads and bringing jobs back to rural America.
Our communities have been hollowed out by decades of politicians thinking they know more about your life than you do. You know, I know, your neighbors know it’s time for a change.
I’m asking you to join your neighbors in Siouxland at RichardsForCongress.com and the thousands of everyday Iowans supporting our campaign to make Washington work a bit more like Iowa.
P.S. I actually care enough about representing you that I’ll give you my personal cell phone (712-579-4753). To truly service your needs, you deserve that kind of access.
Bret Richards of Irwin, Iowa, is a Republican candidate for the Iowa 4th District U.S. House seat.
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