Over the last two decades, I’ve had the privilege of caring for those who served in our nation’s military; first as a staff physician at the Manchester VA Medical Center and later as the Medical Director of the VA New England Network. Working at the VA has shown me the good that government has to offer, but I have also seen firsthand the problems that come from change-resistant bureaucracies.
Partisan politicians in Washington are consumed with defending their own interests and unwilling to do the hard work necessary to improve the lives of the American People. I can no longer sit on the sidelines; therefore, I am announcing my candidacy seeking the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District.
When the government is run by entrenched bureaucratic interests, lacking in even the most basic accountability, nothing changes; nothing improves. Today’s career politicians are the source of the problem. When outsiders like myself are elected to office, they are unafraid to make the tough decisions that politicians refuse to make. President Trump was elected in this spirit. As a successful businessman from the private sector, he is willing to fundamentally change the system. Now he needs elected officials who will honor their constituents by working cooperatively with the White House to ensure our country moves in the right direction.
As Congressman for New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District, these are some of the issues on which I will focus:
We need action on repealing the “Un” Affordable Care Act while keeping basic medical protections for all American citizens. We must continue the ban on exclusions for preexisting medical conditions. We need to continue to allow adult children to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26. We need a simple major medical policy to prevent a person’s medical crisis from being compounded into an economic disaster.
We need to be tough on securing our borders. True immigration reform cannot happen while our borders continue to be porous. The illegals who are currently living in the shadows with a violent criminal history should be deported immediately. Those whose crime was coming here illegally should be adjudicated according to agreed-upon principles such as time in the US and relative danger from which they fled. There can be no sanctuary cities or in-state tuition for illegals.
We need to maintain national security to protect the American people. Our world grows smaller with each technologic advance. Failed states with rogue leaders can now become nuclear powers with very little scientific and economic investment. Despite a nuclear “deal,” with Iran, they were able to get away with testing a new missile system.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in all areas. The best-elected officials must represent their constituents by actively listening and seeking good advice. This was instilled in me growing up in a lower class neighborhood in New York City. I was the first person in my family to go to college. I attended public education all the way from kindergarten through medical school. My background gave me a solid work ethic. I’m proof that hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck are all that is needed to succeed when you live in the United States.
I was married for over twenty years to a wonderful person who was a gifted, caring physician and an amazing mother to our son. It seems like one day she was vibrant and energetic, and the next, she was fighting for her life with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She was destined to lose this fight in under a year. Neither my son nor I were ever the same again. We each grieved in our own way, yet somehow found the strength to go on. While I believe in the American Dream, my personal experience has also instilled in me a strong awareness of the many ways life can go wrong. Leadership requires empathy and compassion.
I have prided myself on always being a strong advocate for my patients and their families. If I am fortunate enough to be elected to Congress, I will be a strong advocate for my constituents. This seems to be a concept all too often ignored by those we elect. New Hampshire doesn’t need more career politicos to solve our problems. We need those with the skill and desire to listen, work, and be held accountable. With your vote, I will do just that.
Originally posted as an Op-Ed in the Union Leader 10/11: http://www.unionleader.com/Another-View-Stewart-Levenson-Stepping-up-to-run-for-Congress-10122017