Justin Kanew, who’s running in 2018 for the seat in Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District, spoke to Williamson County Democrats at his first public engagement since announcing his candidacy earlier this summer.
The 38-year-old College Grove resident, who moved to Tennessee with his wife and daughter a year ago from southern California, said he was mobilized by the outcome of the November election and was dissatisfied by the voting record of longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
“This all started after the election, when the enthusiasm and resistance picked up. I had the same question you did: ‘Who’s going to run against Marsha?'” Kanew said.
Kanew criticized Blackburn’s support of the recently halted effort to replace Obamacare.
“She was out there championing the (health care bill) as though it was going to help people, when it would really hurt all the most vulnerable people, to give a tax cut to those who need it the least,” he said.
Kanew said he’s not ashamed to say he stands for health care as a right, not a privilege, and supports paid maternity leave and raising the minimum wage.
Health care is a right, not a privilege. It’s also an issue that will affect every last one of us, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m running.
I can’t sit by and watch Marsha Blackburn run unopposed as she has too many times before, especially as she champions this effort to rip health care and support away from the people who need it most, sending the number of uninsured Tennesseans skyrocketing. The CBO says the bill in its current form would take health care from 22 Million Americans, raising premiums and gutting essential health benefits, leaving sick people and the elderly unprotected. Only 12% approve of it, Tennessee opposes it, as do countless patient-centered foundations, yet Marsha says the senate passing it would’ve been a nice “Independence Day present”.
For who, exactly? That’s merciless. This is a campaign of many things, but above all it’s a campaign of mercy. It isn’t about left vs. right, it’s about right vs. wrong.
It’s time to stop putting corporate America first, and start putting Tennesseans first.