Editor’s note: Oregon’s 6th congressional district is the newest, following a growing population documented in the 2020 census. While the district’s primaries saw a flood of candidates (and money from campaign), Democratic State Rep. Andrea Salinas and Republican businessman Mike Erickson emerged as their party’s primary nominees. The OPB reached out to both candidates to get their perspective on the issues voters are concerned about in November. Here are Republican Mike Erickson’s responses.
Do you think there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election?
No, yet having free and secure elections is essential.
How accessible do you find voting in Oregon?
Voting is very accessible in Oregon thanks to mail-in voting. Increased accessibility and ease of voting also requires increased oversight by state officials to ensure safe and secure elections.
What policy would you advocate in Congress to reduce the effects of inflation in your district?
Move towards energy independence, so as not to be at the mercy of foreign producers.
Oregon recently released a Wildfire Hazard Map showing that a significant portion of your district is at high risk of home damage from a wildfire in the future. What federal policies would you support to reduce wildfire risk in Oregon?
Enable states to exercise greater control over forest lands. States must have the authority to engage in appropriate forest management activities (eg, felling trees if necessary) without being subject to heavy federal bureaucracy.
Oregon has been a frequent site of political extremism in recent years. Why do you think this is the case, and what is the role of Congress in addressing it?
Congressional partisanship, categorical arguments, and disrespect have set a bad example for Oregonians and all Americans. We need to model that in Congress if we expect citizens to listen to each other with respect. While congressional representatives should strongly encourage citizens to engage in the political process, including peaceful protests, they must speak out against all violence with a unified voice.
Do you believe Congress should take action on abortion access following the reversal of Roe v. Wade? What action should they take?
No. Allow voters to decide through state-level ballot measures.
If elected, you would be the first representative from Oregon’s 6th congressional district. What change would you like to make to improve the lives of the residents of this neighborhood?
Immediately fight inflation and rising fuel costs and do whatever I can to help keep citizens safe – support law enforcement and reduce drug trafficking across our unsecured border.
What national policies would you support to address homelessness and housing shortages in the West?
Increase the current supply of affordable housing by publicizing regulatory approval processes and encourage and support the construction industry. Plus, support communities in their own innovative programs to help get our most vulnerable people off the streets.
Health care costs for people in the United States have risen dramatically over the past decade, even more for Oregonians. Do you think Congress should address this issue, and if so, how?
The regulations and programs instituted by Congress have not reduced health care costs or made it more accessible. Congress must work to maintain a patient-centered health care system with choices for citizens. Americans want to choose their own doctors and clinics.
Keep insurance prices low with fair competition and plan choices. Americans should be able to manage their own health care costs as much as possible through programs such as medical or flexible spending accounts. Medicare reform should be considered, such as providing more choices and benefits (like those available to members of Congress) to adults eligible for Medicare.
There is a staffing crisis in all areas of health. Doctors are leaving health care, so people have a hard time finding doctors. We need to tackle the issues plaguing the medical field, such as bureaucracy (non-clinical paperwork), insurance costs (malpractice/liability) and reimbursements to maintain a sufficient number of practitioners to meet the needs of citizens.
Do you think Congress should take additional action to address the impacts of climate change, and if so, what would those policies look like?
Climate change is a major global problem. The United States has played a critical role in ensuring that policy decisions all contain a climate action component. We must support American innovation as we transition to cleaner energy. Additionally, America’s infrastructure must be ready to handle new clean energy options. We cannot rush this process without modernizing our energy network.
Obviously, we have to look at this as a global problem. We must become energetically independent. Continuing to rely on China and Russia for energy, steel and other products supports countries that do not have the same environmental standards as the United States
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