Incumbent Greg Walden will face rare competition in the Primary

Republican Greg Walden is once again running for Representative of Oregon’s Second Congressional District, but unlike recent elections, he will have competition in the primary.

Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum is running in hopes of earning the Republican Party nomination this May.

The candidates each share viewpoints on certain facets of the issues that face constituents of the Second District. For example, both believe in repealing the Affordable Care Act. However, they expressed different views on how to handle such issues as job creation and balancing the budget.

Regarding job creation, Walden tends to support natural resource-based solutions. He has twice passed a bill that would allow the production of hydroelectric power on Bowman Dam and create jobs in the process.

“The legislation would allow the city of Prineville to utilize 5,100 acre-feet of groundwater to meet existing and future demands, and allow it to attract new, sustainable businesses similar to the Facebook data center, which has created new jobs and sparked investment,” Walden said.

In addition, he has worked on legislation intended to loosen forest restrictions and enable more timber harvesting and other forest-related jobs, and supports reducing the size and scope of the federal government to remove job-creation barriers.

When it comes to job creation, Linthicum feels that the government too often picks winners and losers through regulatory policy.

“This discourages true free market action and creates unfair influence for large corporate interests and well-connected individuals,” he said. “America was founded on the dream that anyone, from any background, can have a chance at success and have equal freedoms and rights under the law.”

Regarding the budget deficit and national debt, Linthicum believes the best strategy to follow a plan initially voiced by President Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“If the federal government can lower spending and lessen regulation, taxes can also be lowered,” he said. “Lastly, Congress must restore sound money policy and prevent the Federal Reserve from debasing the currency.”

Walden agrees that the federal government should reduce spending. His spokesman, Andrew Malcolm, pointed out that last week, the House passed a budget that would be balanced in 10 years and reduce spending by $5 trillion.

“But we have to grow the economy,” Malcolm added. “That will help bring in more revenue and help get the deficit under control.

With health care, Walden would like to replace the Affordable Care Act with real reform.

“Something that puts families, patients, and doctors in charge of health care decisions,” Malcolm said. “The health care law really increases government intrusion into people’s lives.”

Walden would also like to enact policy that would help lower the cost of health care. Such provisions could include allowing businesses to group up to purchases policies, enabling people to purchase insurance across state lines, and sensible malpractice reform.

Linthicum wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act because he feels it forces people to purchase government-approved insurance or risk an expensive tax as penalty.

“The medical industry is over-regulated and too complex, creating a hopeless maze of paperwork, litigation, and insurance claims,” he stated. “To create a sustainable health care system, individuals and medical professionals must be allowed to communicate and practice without bureaucracy and needless litigation.”

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