Pledging to champion the role of "citizen legislators" and serve no more than three terms if elected, Libertyville physician and business owner Sapan Shah is joining the field of potential Republican challengers to 10th District congressman Brad Schneider.
"Government should be run by citizen legislators, not professional, career politicians," Shah, 37, said in his campaign announcement Tuesday. "We need leaders with real-world experience, who see firsthand the needs of their community, have taken risks, and have lived the day-to-day struggle of everyday Americans."
The Waukegan native is the second candidate seeking the GOP nomination in the 10th District. Jeremy Wynes of Highland Park announced his campaign in May. Schneider, a Democrat from Deerfield, formally announced his bid for a third term last week.
Shah, who in 2007 founded the malpractice insurance firm Flagship Healthcare, said he is "uniquely qualified" to tackle health care reform because of his experience as a practicing physician and on the business side of the industry.
"More doctors should be at the table in solving our health care issues," he said.
While he supports some portions of the Affordable Care Act -- including coverage of pre-existing conditions -- Shah said it's also led to less coverage and fewer options at higher premiums. He backs reforms to encourage competition and make prices more transparent to reduce costs.
Shah declined to discuss specifics regarding possible Congressional action on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other immigration matters, but said he is the son of immigrants and "legal immigration is a building block of this country."
On the economy, Shah said he is a proponent of cutting spending and taxes.
"If we as a country increase income taxes and increase government spending, we're discouraging entrepreneurship and the birth of new business," he said.
Shah has no political experience, something he believes works in his favor. He said he would serve a maximum of six years in Congress and push for term limits to rid the Capitol of "career politicians and entrenched interests."
Shah lives in Libertyville with his wife, Rachna, who also is a doctor.
The 10th District encompasses much of Lake County, stretching along the North Shore to the Wisconsin state line, as well as portions of northwest Cook County, including parts of Mount Prospect, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove and Prospect Heights.