O Kent Mercado: 2024 candidate for U.S. House 11th District Representative


Party: Republican

Office Sought: 11th District U.S. Representative

City: Bartlett

Age: 61

Occupation: Physician, Attorney, Government Affairs

Previous offices held: none

What must be done to achieve a consistent national policy on immigration, not just in terms of what such a policy should be but also in terms of getting a policy through the Senate?

Stop polarizing it, there must be a bipartisan solution. Both parties know we have a crisis. Enforce the asylum restrictions since most people claiming do not qualify. Safe and Secure border while advocating for Legal immigration

We are a nation of immigrants in search of freedom, democracy, and opportunities to pursue the American Dream. We welcome all that come through the legal and proper channels. There are many channels to enter, live, and work in our nation, such as visas for H1 (tech) and H2 (ag) workers and asylum in special and limited circumstances (25,000 annually). We must, however, maintain border security and keep our communities safe and secure. We must start by enforcing the current laws that we have at all levels of government. We need to emphasize the value of safe and secure borders, as well as the need for legal immigration, because a country without borders is no country at all.

Do you believe the nation's election system and those of the individual states are secure and fair? If not, what must be done to improve them?

Yes, but there is always room for improvement. Election officials and security experts should continue to work together to identify and address any vulnerabilities in the system, and to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast their ballots without interference or intimidation.

What responsibilities does the United States have toward protecting the security of our allies or other countries where democracy may be threatened? In particular, what are our responsibilities toward Israel and Ukraine?

I understand the need for global peace and stability, and some aid for all three is necessary. However, this should be limited in funds when there are pressing domestic needs that require funding.

Regarding Ukraine, it is important to support Ukraine in its efforts to resist Russian aggression with military aid to promote stability in the region, but no blank checks. I support military aid to Israel since it is important to maintain a strong relationship with Israel, which is a key ally in the Middle East and helps to promote stability in the region and advance U.S. interests.

For the Palestinian people, I support humanitarian aid and infrastructure to the Palestinian people, not to Hamas!

Is the world in a climate crisis? If so, what role should the federal government play in addressing it?

While we do have man-made impact on the environment which can affect the climate, we are not in crisis. There are natural ebbs and flows to climate and changes will continue to occur, but not at the pace we are being told (Miami and New York were supposed to be under water by 2012).

This is a worldwide leader in carbon reduction, but we cannot do it alone, China and India must do their part to reduce emissions. pricing mechanisms to reduce emissions, expansion of nuclear power, reducing regulations on businesses and industries to encourage innovation and economic growth.

How would you describe the working relationships in the U.S. House today? What can be done to promote more effective government in Congress, and what will you do personally to work toward this goal?

Most House members get along with each other. There is more agreement on issues than the press would lead you to believe. I have worked with legislators and legislation, most bills go through bipartisan committee where negotiations take place.

I can work with nearly anyone but there must be compromise on both sides of the isle.

What role should the United States play in NATO?

NATO is strategically important against Russian aggression We need to maintain our leadership role in NATO, but we must make sure the other counties pay their fair share.

How do you perceive the financial health of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid? To the degree you may see problems with these programs, what should be done about them?

Sine the 90s we have been told of this impending crisis. We do not need a complete overhaul of the system; it just needs to be tweaked. Like every other government agency, we need to use a lean6sigma approach to find waste, fraud, abuse and duplication of services which should drastically reduce the cost. Secondly increase the maximum contribution to a higher limit currently around 140K, possibly to 150K with regular increased tied to inflation like Medicare.

How do you assess the state of the national economy? What should be done to make it stronger or more stable?

We are a strong nation and I do not believe that we are heading for a recession. There are many things we can do to maintain a soft landing.

1. Reducing regulations that increase the cost of living. By doing so, businesses can operate more efficiently and pass on the savings to consumers.

2. Lowering taxes to increase disposable income. This can be achieved by reducing income taxes, sales taxes, and other taxes that increase the cost of living.

3. Encouraging entrepreneurship to create jobs and reduce the cost of living. This can be done by providing tax incentives and other benefits to small businesses.

4. Investing in infrastructure to reduce the cost of transportation. This can be achieved by building new roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure, which will reduce the cost of goods.

What personal qualifications do you bring that would make you an effective congressional representative in dealing with the issues the country will face in the next two years?

I am a devoted husband and father, married for 32 years and have three wonderful adult children. 6TH GERATION ILLINI

I am Physician, Attorney, Businessman, and Humanitarian, I also have extensive experience in natural disaster relief, Including Katrina, Haiti and Pakistan I These are some examples that make me the most capable and qualified candidate.

I have been part of and served the 11th district community for over 30 years and have had the privilege of listening to thousands of residents about the issues that matter most.

I have heard their concerns, AND most want to focus on Kitchen table issues: Cost of living, bring back jobs and LOWER TAXES

Education opportunities such as job-specific education and apprenticeship as well as 4 year colleges Safe communities and secure borders

Quality affordable physical and mental healthcare

I am here and ready to fight for you in Washington.

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