By Mark Wachtler
January 25, 2016. Romeoville, IL. (ONN) While Illinois Democrats and Republicans are fighting amongst themselves to see who will represent each Party in the November General Election, the Libertarian Party of Illinois has recruited a slate of experienced candidates and they’re already on the campaign trail. One of those Libertarian hopefuls is Chris Michel, candidate for US Senate. As voter sentiment currently stands, come November he may face two of the most unpopular establishment politicians in Illinois.
Chris Michel, Libertarian candidate for US Senate from Illinois.
Illinois Herald editor Mark Wachtler recently sat down with Libertarian Party US Senate candidate Chris Michel for a one-on-one interview. Thank you to Chris for taking the time to tell our readers a little more about himself and his campaign.
Illinois Herald: Two years ago, you ran as the Libertarian nominee for Illinois Secretary of State. You finished third out of five candidates and garnered over 100,000 votes. What did you learn from that race and why did you choose the office of US Senate this time around?
Chris Michel: As a candidate, I had a wonderful opportunity to travel the state and talk with the people of Illinois. I learned that most have libertarian beliefs and they are looking for a candidate to represent them. In the US Senate, I can represent the people of Illinois and bring libertarian solutions to our nation’s capital.
Illinois Herald: You’ve run for office before as an independent write-in and a Libertarian. Why are you running as a Libertarian again? Do you believe it helps or hurts your chances?
Chris Michel: I teach my children that violence does not solve anything. The Libertarian Party promotes peaceful solutions to the issues troubling our country. It is great to be a Libertarian candidate because people are seeking new answers, and increasingly finding them with the Libertarian Party.
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Illinois Herald: Are you running to win or to raise awareness about certain issues and the Libertarian Party?
Chris Michel: I am running to win. My business is repairing cell phone towers. When I get to a job site, I never know what obstacles are going to be in my way. But whatever they are, I go up and over them to make it to the top. I am taking the same approach to the campaign.
Illinois Herald: To win, you would have to receive equal treatment in the media and debates. Do you think you’ll be included in the polls and the televised debates? Do you have a strategy to get invited or to protest if you’re not?
Chris Michel: Debate inclusion is a priority for my campaign. I call on all those who believe in an open and democratic process to demand inclusion of all candidates in polls and debates. If ten people can be on stage at a Presidential debate, there is no excuse why three for Senate cannot. Whether invited or not, I will be there.
Illinois Herald: Does your campaign have a theme or a top-priority issue?
Chris Michel: My top priority is the economy. The economy touches and concerns every one of us, particularly in Illinois. By cutting the red tape and high taxes that cripple job growth, we can strengthen our economy and improve lives.
Illinois Herald: While each have Primary challengers, your presumptive opponents will be Republican incumbent Mark Kirk and Democrat Tammy Duckworth. What are the pitfalls or downsides of each of the two?
Chris Michel: Their voting records speak for themselves. Just to name a few examples, both are advocates of gun control, both voted for increased government spying (USA Freedom Act), and both voted for increased government control of the Internet (CISPA and CISA).
Illinois Herald: Illinois’ two US Senators, Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin, are both pro-foreign intervention. What is your position on US involvement in the Syrian Civil War and Turkey’s downing of a Russian bomber?
Chris Michel: Many of us are concerned about the threat of terrorism, but US intervention overseas has led to disastrous consequences. Our best move would be to stop fueling the fires of war by withdrawing our troops, weapons and funding. Only then can we end the bloodshed and advance peace.
Illinois Herald: Among issues that are important or popular with our readers, briefly, where do you stand on pursuing Hillary Clinton’s secret, private email account while Secretary of State and her involvement in the Benghazi tragedy?
Chris Michel: The legal process must be followed and when she is found guilty, she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Illinois Herald: States are beginning to mandate the labeling of GMO foods. Congress is trying to pass a nationwide ban on labeling. Where do you stand?
Chris Michel: People with specific dietary requirements need to know what is in their food. However, our government has a terrible record in providing honest labeling. Where there is market demand for GMO-free products, businesses will provide them. In fact, there is already an independent, third party verification system in place to label GMO-free products.
Illinois Herald: States are rapidly legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use. But it’s still illegal on the federal level. What is your position?
Chris Michel: Drug prohibition has been even more harmful than alcohol prohibition. We abolished one, it is past time we got rid of the other.
Illinois Herald: Why should people support your campaign for US Senate?
Chris Michel: Democrats and Republicans have grown the size of government to unsustainable levels. I will be a leader in the US Senate to downsize government so the economy can grow, bringing jobs and opportunity to all Americans. Together we can #FixItWithFreedom.
Illinois Herald: Where can people go to learn more about your campaign?
Chris Michel: People can visit my website at VoteChrisMichel.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Illinois Herald: Thank you for sitting down with Illinois Herald readers to tell us more about yourself and your campaign. We wish you all the best in the coming election.
Chris Michel: Thank you, Mark, for your time. I look forward to speaking with you again as the campaign progresses.
Again, thank you to Illinois Libertarian US Senate candidate Chris Michel for taking time to talk to us. For more information, visit his campaign website or his campaign Facebook Page. For more information on the Libertarian Party of Illinois, visit LPIllinois.org.
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