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Q&A: Jim Marter talks run for Congress, healthcare, immigration and more

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Republican candidate for U.S. 16th Congressional District Jim Marter speaks to supporters in Morris on Mar. 14, 2018.[]

MORRIS – The Illinois 3rd Congressional District race isn’t the only one with an interesting primary. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, represents the 16th District, which runs from Rockford all the way through Grundy County and the southwest tip of Will County.

Jim Marter, an Oswego businessman who ran for the U.S. Senate against Mark Kirk in 2016, now is running against Kinzinger in the March 20 primary. Marter is a pro-Trump conservative who says Kinzinger has failed to represent the district and he’s trying to get his name out there to take on a well-known incumbent.

Herald-News reporter Alex Ortiz caught up with Marter during a meet-and-greet at a restaurant in Morris last week. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Ortiz: How would you label yourself ideologically or politically?

Marter: I’m a liberty-loving, constitutional, Second Amendment-supporting conservative Republican.

Ortiz: Why did you decide to run in this particular race?

Marter: The reason I looked at this race was, No. 1, folks who knew me from my political experience in the last couple of years asked me to look at the race. We started to look at Congressman Kinzinger’s voting record. One of the first groups that I always look to is called Conservative Review. Congressman Kinzinger had a 36 percent (liberty score), so that’s an F.

Ortiz: In terms of health care, what are the types of things you want to do in Congress?

Marter: The first is repeal the disastrous PPACA, which stands for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). It neither protects patients, nor is it affordable. Now what could we do to make health care more competitive and cheaper in America? We can use the Commerce Clause in the Constitution for its real purpose and allow competition in health care insurance markets, procedures and businesses. So that means selling plans across state lines, portability of insurance from employer to employer if the employee leaves for some reason, competition for prescription drugs and tort reform, meaning lawsuit liability limits.

Ortiz: What about immigration?

Marter: Enforce the law, no DACA, no amnesty and build the wall. Secure the border. Go after employers for hiring illegal aliens. End sanctuary cities and sanctuary states. Hold the elected politicians criminally liable for not enforcing federal law and also withhold all their funding. What we’ve created is a problem of human trafficking. Literally people have died getting here. These people that are coming here, God bless them. I understand we’re the greatest, freest country on the face of the earth, but we’re encouraging people to come through cartels, drug-related coyotes, human trafficking, sex trafficking. This is bad for everyone involved. We need to end it now and we do that by enforcing our laws.

Ortiz: Where do you stand on these tariffs the president recently proposed?

Marter: I studied economics at Purdue University. The laws of economics don’t bend toward the U.S. or anyone else. Free trade is a good thing. The problem is we don’t have free trade. We don’t even have fair trade and that’s why Trump’s bringing this issue out. I love the fact that he’s willing to use a big stick and a big club in a fight and then win the fight. In the long run, we don’t want tariffs. They’re just a tax on the American consumer. In the short run, it’s a good tool to get us into fair trade agreements.