Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Jean Howard-Hill said she's a conservative moderate who sees many of the issues near and dear to the GOP differently because of her background.
Speaking Tuesday to the editorial board of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dr. Howard-Hill said one of her goals is to restore people's confidence in their government. She said she does not think government needs to grow, but thinks it should be as large as it needs to be to function.
She said she agrees with the core values of the Republican platform.
"As an African-American, I believe we should be empowered to build wealth," said Dr. Howard-Hill, who has taught courses in political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "I believe in a strong military presence."
Dr. Howard-Hill said people have the right to choose where they stand on each issue.
For instance, she said, she embraces "traditional family values," but she looks at gun control in the light of the impact gun violence has had on the black community. She also said she opposes federal budget earmarks.
On the question of abortion, Dr. Howard-Hill said the majority of people she's spoken with believe abortion is a personal choice. She said she would have to get the opinion of her constituents before voting on an abortion issue.
If elected, she wants to reform Social Security, help veterans and put a special emphasis on higher education.
Richard Wilson, a professor of political science at UTC who votes Democratic, described Dr. Hill as a "perennial" candidate.
"Her positions are vague and I don't know exactly what they mean," he said. "If she were elected, I don't know what she would do."
3RD DISTRICT CANDIDATES
Tommy Crangle, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Gobble, Harvey Howard, Jean Howard-Hill, Van Irion, Rick Kernea, Basil Marceaux Sr., Art Rhodes, Robin Smith, Grover Travillian
Alicia Mitchell, Brenda Freeman Short, Brent Davis Staton, John Wolfe
Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah, Savas T. Kyriakidis
The state primary is Aug. 5.
Source: Tennessee Department of State
Jean Howard Hill
Occupation: Educator, researcher
Fundraising: Less than $5,000