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Taylor’s goal: to pass budgets

Sioux City Republican is running for King’s seat

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Jeremy Taylor, of Sioux City, a Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District seat, poses for a photograph in The Messenger’s studio as his son, Manny, 9, watches him. Taylor calls his son the campaign’s technical advisor.

Jeremy Taylor, a Republican from Sioux City, said Iowa deserves an effective congressman to represent its 4th Congressional District.

“I am running to make sure we have an effective voice in Congress and one that will represent the needs of our families across the 4th District,” Taylor told The Messenger on Thursday.

Taylor, a 41-year-old Woodbury County supervisor, announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress on Jan. 24.

He was inspired to run for U.S. Rep. Steve King’s seat after the nine-term Republican congressman was removed from his committee assignments last January.

“One event was when we no longer had a seat at the table, whether through the loss of committee assignments, sitting on the judiciary or ag committee — those are important to represent Iowa’s economy and make sure we have a future for our children and our children’s children to be able to grow up here and raise their families,” Taylor said. “The other thing — on election night, Congressman King lost our county — Woodbury County. We want to make sure that we hold this seat and that going forward we take back the House of Representatives because I don’t think the current leadership is serving the needs of the nation well or the 4th District, certainly.”

Taylor said he supported King in previous elections.

“Although I have always been a supporter of Congressman King’s, I think now it’s a bridge too far,” he said. “Where if he is the nominee for the Republican Party, we will lose that seat to J.D. Scholten. And I don’t believe J.D. Scholten represents the vast majority of folks in the 4th District.”

Scholten is a Democrat who was narrowly defeated by King in 2018.

Chief among Taylor’s concerns for the country is the budget.

“Out of control spending is one of the things I am passionate about,” Taylor said. “My family’s budget has to balance at the end of every month. The state of Iowa’s budget has to balance. And yet at the federal level, we are now $22 trillion in debt. The thing that’s so disconcerting is we spent $364 billion just on interest. We just shut down our government over $5.7 billion on the border wall fight and six days worth of interest.”

Taylor added, “By 2023, we are going to spend more money on servicing the debt interest than we will on national defense. My goal is to make sure we return to the legislative branch passing budgets. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s only happened four times since 1977.”

Taylor, a father of six, said his other passions include issues concerning life and ensuring that the U.S. has a secure border.

He met his wife while on a Christian mission in Vietnam.

“She legally immigrated here,” Taylor said. “We decided to start our family in the 4th District.”

Taylor said he favors the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement.

“I think that’s very important because that will open up our export market in a way that’s very healthy for our pork industry and dairy up north,” he said. “It puts us on a more level playing field with labor and environmental regulations that were once undercut by Mexico.”

In terms of trade partners, he believes the United States needs to be agile.

“China, if they are ultimately going to be a poor partner, we need to leverage other export markets as well,” he said. “As we lean forward, we need to continually look elsewhere so that we are diversified.”

Taylor’s parents were both teachers and he followed in their footsteps becoming an English teacher himself.

He joined the Iowa Army National Guard as an intelligence analyst at the age of 29.

Taylor became a chaplain in the National Guard. He was headquartered for six years in Fort Dodge.

In terms of the recent gun violence in the U.S., Taylor said based on his experience, it’s mental health that needs to be addressed.

“Ultimately, at the heart of the gun issue is we are talking about people and the human heart,” he said. “My emphasis as a chaplain is to think in terms of what is causing the disenfranchisement of society. I think if you look at the breakdown of the family, if you look at mental health needs and those who have gone through trauma, that’s never really been dealt with or healed.”

He added, “I know there are certain people in the spectrum, their lockstep reaction is how do we ultimately deal with the weapons issue rather than what I think the root cause is. If you look in terms of parental absenteeism and fragmented society, those are very important areas to take stock of.”

When someone is struggling with mental health, Taylor said early intervention is critical.

“I see that in the military,” he said. “I see that as a chaplain. If a soldier comes back from deployment and doesn’t deal with that which he or she is wrestling with, whether it’s the inability to sleep or the fact that it’s too quiet. There can be a trigger or a mind races or insomnia, dealing with those things earlier on is key.”

According to Taylor, red flag laws aren’t necessarily the right solution.

Red flag laws allow people who have seen warning signs in someone, to seek a court order and temporarily prevent that person from having access to a firearm.

“With red flag laws, my worry on that is we tend to as a government — at the federal level, our lockstep reaction is to pass something, just do something,” he said. “If there is gaps in the NCIC and the federal background checks, which there are gaps and there is underreporting that happens on 10 different facets from the state level, that has to be shored up and have fidelity. Otherwise, all you are doing is trying to judicate on the front end based on suspicion. I don’t think that’s ultimately where we need to go.”

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