Jerry Evans: 2022 candidate for 11th Congressional District
Office sought: U.S. House, 11th District
Occupation: Music school owner/teacher
Previous offices held: None
What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?
Career politicians are more interested in preserving the status quo and getting re-elected than delivering on the promises they made. I support term limits as a means to disrupt that status quo and finally prioritize results over politics.
What is your position on changing voter access?
Every eligible American has a constitutional right to cast a single vote. That principle is sacred and foundational to American democracy. It must be protected. Protecting this principle requires we ensure our elections are safe and secure. I oppose measures such as ballot harvesting that may expose legally cast votes to loss, fraud, or abuse, including photo ID requirements, placing reasonable limits on voting by mail, requiring clean voter rolls, and having firm election law enforcement. At the same time, I support early in person voting so every Illinoisan has an opportunity to vote.
Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. The sudden, arbitrary, and often unilateral changes to our election system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have left millions with lingering questions as to the legitimacy of this outcome. We should not repeat the same process that has called the legitimacy of our democracy into question. Elections should be handled transparently and maintain accountability throughout the process. Accusations of fraud should be investigated in order to alleviate any doubts about the outcome. Failing to do any of these things leaves millions of Americans feeling as though they have been disenfranchised. That is not how our democracy is supposed to work.
What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?
The events of January 6th occurred over one year ago. Since then, roughly half the country, both Democrats and Republicans, still have doubts about the veracity of the 2020 election results. That should never be the case. We should ensure our elections are conducted transparently and maintain accountability throughout the process. When there are claims of fraud, they should be fully investigated so no one is left with doubts. Anything less undermines American democracy, as we saw on Jan. 6.
What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?
The United States serves as a great pillar upholding freedom throughout the world. As the United States grows weaker, and our rivals grow stronger, we begin to see freedom fade throughout the world. From Afghanistan to Ukraine, that principle is more evident than it has ever been in recent memory. The United States should engage with the international community ensure we remain the leading power in global affairs. We should further maintain a military powerful enough to underwrite that status and deter conflicts. In Ukraine, Joe Biden handed Putin leverage by limiting American oil and gas production. We need to restore our energy independence and once again begin to export energy. Chinese expansionism is a multifaceted threat working across many sectors around the world. The United States must proactively counter this threat through all dimensions of soft power: diplomacy, intelligence, economic, and military (DIME). In the Middle East, we should always stand with Israel.
Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
Addressing climate change should be a priority. But we need to focus on real, attainable solutions, not the Green New Deal. Despite what many so-called environmentalists will tell you, socialism is not the answer. In fact, the United States actually leads the world is reducing carbon emissions, even compared to the EU as a whole, because of solutions developed through free market enterprise. From carbon storage to being able to store power generated by wind and solar, climate change solutions depend on free market innovation. If we are truly serious about solving this problem, then we need to embrace principles that work rather than using this problem as a vehicle to advance a socialist agenda.
Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.
We need patient centered healthcare, not government centered healthcare. We should absolutely protect preexisting conditions. But despite what we were promised when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, millions of Americans remain uninsured, and the price of health insurance has gone through the roof. We can do better than this. We should instead reduce the cumbersome and unnecessary restrictions the ACA places on the health insurance industry to reinvigorate the marketplace and restore competition. In turn, this will give Illinoisans greater freedom and customization in their plans, as well as lower rates.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?
The Border Crisis is a humanitarian and economic disaster. By overturning important border security policies, Joe Biden has incentivized the trafficking of humans and drugs throughout the United States, including here in Illinois. It has led to the deaths of many Americans and even police officers. It is fueling Mexican Drug Cartels, further worsening the situation in Mexico and Central America. We need to end this crisis by returning to the previously successful policies. Furthermore, legal immigration is part of the fabric of American society. We should encourage immigration by those who sincerely desire to be American citizens as well as reform our immigration process to be simpler and easier to understand. Dreamers should not be deported but should go through the process to become an American Citizen as other immigrants must. To do anything else would be unfair to those who followed the law and reward behavior we should discourage.