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Election 2012 • Candidate Questionnaires: U.S. House of Representatives (Fourth District)

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Thomas Massie
Thomas Massie, 41, Republican candidate for congressman, 4th congressional district of Kentucky; cattle farmer and engineer.
Undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Married with four children.

What are the most important issues facing the 4th Congressional District and what would you do to address them?
The issues people in the 4th district face are similar to those faced across Kentucky and across America. The economic recession has lead to higher unemployment, more home foreclosures and a reduction in median income for many families. Issues in the 4th district include rural issues as well, such as maintaining the viability of family farms in today’s global economy in the face of increasing regulations and taxes and providing opportunities for the younger generation in the district, who all too often move away for economic reasons.

What changes in government would you like to make if you win your election?
As congressman, my top priority will be to get our country back on track by taking a serious look at the overwhelming debt and spending crisis we face. Leaders in Washington have to set common sense budget priorities, reduce spending, reduce the burden on families and small business owners who keep our economy strong and foster real job growth, not growth of government. Congress must do this while maintaining our commitment to seniors and veterans. The biggest challenge facing our country today is how to balance the federal budget. Financing a bloated government is negatively affecting our economy nationally and in the 4th district. Congress needs to take action now instead of kicking the can down the road.

What would you like to tell the voters of the 4th Congressional District about yourself and your vision for the district?
I grew up in the 4th district and attended Lewis County public schools. After starting a company and creating 70 jobs, my wife and I moved back to the family farm where she grew up and we are raising our four children here. My whole life I’ve been interested in solving problems. I ran for Lewis County Judge-executive in 2010 because I saw problems at the local level, and decided to stop talking about it and act. In that office, I eliminated more waste, fraud, and abuse than any of my predecessors. Washington is broken and our leaders there are kicking the can down the road. I am running for congress to help get our economy back on track and to give my kids, and other kids in the district, what I was given – a chance at the American dream – because I fear it is about to be lost if our leaders in Washington D.C. don’t act.

William "Bill" Adkins
William “Bill” Adkins, 56, Democratic candidate for congressman, 4th congressional district of Kentucky; attorney
Received a bachelor’s degree from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, 1996; received a juris doctorate degree from Chase Law School in Highland Heights, 1999.
Married to Betty; seven children, one grandchild.

What are the most important issues facing the 4th Congressional District and what would you do to address them?
Fighting to protect seniors by keeping Medicare and Social Security solvent. Into the future, doing away with the notion of privatization, boosting the economy in the 4th district by investing in infrastructure, higher education, job training and supporting local and small business.
Without a strong middle class, the nation cannot survive. Will work toward solutions to defend, support and rebuild the middle class.
A vision for children that includes safe and accessible high quality education and healthcare for all socio-economic groups.
Stopping the gridlock in Congress.

What changes in government would you like to make if you win your election?
The most important thing would be putting an end to the gridlock in Congress. You must be willing to work with everyone, not just those you agree with. If we truly want to create policy that puts people back to work again and get our economy growing and moving in the right direction, then we have to reach across the issue and compromise. We must put the American people ahead of hard-line political thinking and do what’s best for the country and for our district.

What would you like to tell the voters of the 4th Congressional District about yourself and your vision for the district?
I do not believe I am your typical Washington politician. I have made a career out of working hard, raising a family and building a small business. I will work hard for solutions to help defend and rebuild the middle class. I support investments in infrastructure and education and training to develop a skilled and ready workforce.
Creating a tax structure that is fair to all and not taxing our way out of debt. We must increase revenue while trying to pay down our debt. Protecting seniors by keeping Medicare and Social Security solvent.


ALSO RUNNING: Independent candidate David Lewis.