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West Point grad, veteran runs for local Congressional seat

February 24, 2018

A West Lafayette resident, U.S. Military Academy graduate, former Army captain and Bronze Star recipient is seeking the Republican nomination for Indiana’s 4th U.S. Congressional District.

Indiana’s 4th District covers Cass County and is currently represented by Republican Todd Rokita, who is running to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Jared Thomas is the most recent candidate to announce his intention to replace Rokita.

Earning nominations from former Hoosier legislators U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer and former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, Thomas went on to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a degree in American Politics, a press release for the candidate states.

Thomas accepted a commission as an active duty cavalry officer and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne Division, the release continues. He deployed to northern Iraq in 2016 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, where he received the Bronze Star Medal for his efforts in tackling the complex issue of ISIS-controlled drones.

Thomas indicated in his press release that he has set a goal to visit 50,000 households across the district by the May 8 primary. He said the support from friends, family and 4th District residents has been overwhelming and uplifting.

“This campaign is truly a grassroots effort,” he said in the release. “Our average campaign donation is around $50, and nearly all of our donations have come from folks that have never before donated to a political campaign. They understand that I view this opportunity as a short-term continuation of my military service, and not as the beginning of a long-term political career.”

Thomas also said in his release that he has signed the U.S. Term Limits Congressional Pledge and that being a member of Congress should be a short-term service “rather than a power-and-profit-hungry career path.”

Hopeful legislators and those in office who sign the pledge do so in support of limiting U.S. House of Representatives to three terms.

Thomas adds on his website that he’d support salary decreases for politicians and measures that would require them to use the same health care plan they vote on for Americans.

National security can be maintained and improved through a “strong military, strengthened partnerships with allies like Israel and strong political and economic ties to countries who promote Western democracy,” he also says on his website.

Thomas goes on to express his support for expanding programs that allow veterans to choose their own doctors and hold health care providers accountable that fail service members.

His website indicates measures Indiana has taken to achieve fiscal feats like its budget surplus can be applied on a national scale to improve the country’s economy.

“While other states are raising taxes to keep up with mounting debt, Indiana continues to make smart financial choices,” Thomas says on the site. “Put simply, we need to replicate this model for the rest of the nation. A welcoming tax environment and less regulation will incentivize businesses to move to Indiana and hardworking Hoosiers will keep them here.”

He goes on to state he’d work to cut what he feels to be unnecessary federal government and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Thomas also addresses on his website his stance on the region and country’s opioid epidemic. He emphasized an importance of therapy over painkilling drugs along with finding ways to increase addiction treatment and tackle illegal drug trafficking.

His website also communicates his endorsement of safe, responsible gun ownership.

“That said, those affected by the tragedies our country has faced are tired of hearing mere condolences,” he continues. “They want action, and these extremely complex and emotionally-charged issues cannot be solved by Republicans or Democrats alone. Issues like this one require the complete cooperation of both parties, as this affects all of us.”

Gun laws can be revised through ways like expanding and enhancing background check programs while still preserving the Second Amendment, he continues. He also advocates for education campaigns that teach people about warning signs that precede gun violence along with destigmatizing and treating mental illness.

Thomas says on his website that he believes life begins at conception but recognizes the legality of abortion. He adds he’s committed to “empowering women to choose life.”

Other Republicans running against Thomas are Jim Baird, Steve Braun, Kevin Grant, Diego Morales, James Nease and Tim Radice.

Democrats seeking the post are Tobi Beck, Roger Day, Roland Ellis, Darin Patrick Griesey, Joseph Mackey and Veronikka Ziol.


© 2018 the Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Ind.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.