Hoping his campaign will be as hot as the stifling summer heat in downtown McMinnville on Wednesday, Democratic hopeful Steven Reynolds declared his candidacy for 4th District Congress, looking to dethrone incumbent Dr. Scott DeJarlais from his seat.
“After seven short months of campaigning, we received more votes than any other challenging Democrat in Tennessee,” said Reynolds of his run last year against the incumbent congressman. “We are going to stay focused on our mission. How do we bring people out of poverty? How do we bring Tennesseans up?”
Reynolds pointed out that in eight of the 16 counties that make up the 4th Congressional District, the poverty level is right at 50 percent. He believes good jobs are the key to changing the district for the better.
“We invest in our education system, we invest in our infrastructure and we invest in our health care,” Reynold said of the time-tested formula to bringing good-paying jobs to the district.
Reynolds said massive cuts in Medicare planned by the federal government have him worried for the future of rural hospitals. Calling it a “Draconian healthcare bill”, the candidate pointed out nine rural hospitals have already closed in Tennessee.
“There are many in jeopardy, including the one in Warren County,” Reynolds said. “We need to keep rural hospitals open. The healthcare bill is a disaster.”
Reynolds said if elected he will work to promote the expansion of Social Security and to reform the Veterans Administration system, especially by expanding mental health assistance for veterans. He also said he will work to help combat the opiate problem in the district, noting three children he coached in youth athletics in Murfreesboro have died recently from heroin overdoses.
The primary for the congressional seat will be held next August. The general election is in November.