The following is one in a series of survey responses provided to the Times Free Press by candidates for public office in advance of the Nov. 3 general election. Today we highlight the candidates for Tennessee's U.S. House of Representatives District 3 seat, which includes Hamilton, Polk, McMinn and Monroe counties, as well as the southern half of Bradley County. The candidates' answers are presented in alphabetical order.
U.S. House of Representatives, District 3
* Affiliation: Republican
* Previous public office experience: Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2010
* Why should voters choose you? During my tenure in Congress, I have worked tirelessly to represent the values of the people of the 3rd District of Tennessee and have been able to aid and assist all of my 11 Tennessee counties with my work on the Appropriations Committee, and with my colleagues in the Senate and the administration.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? To renew the American people with their faith and optimism in the ability to legislate at the federal level.
* How will you address this challenge? I will continue to be a positive catalyst for cooperation for effectiveness while maintaining and advocating fiscal and social conservative values.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? By virtue of my position on the House Appropriations Committee, I work effectively across the aisle and across the capital for bipartisan and bicameral collaboration and success.
* What past or current public servant do you most admire? Why? Ronald [Ronald] Reagan. President Reagan embodied a great respect and advocation for American values and promoted them domestically and internationally, all to the benefit of the American people. He inspired my generation to succeed.
* Campaign website: chuckforcongress.com
* Occupation: Attorney
* Education: Undergraduate degree in political science and history from the University of Illinois and a juris doctor degree from the University of Tennessee.
* City of residence: Ooltewah
* Church/civic involvement: St. Peter and Paul Basilica and Christway Community Church
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-488-2236
We may not know results on election night
Election night usually ends with results. This year will probably be different due to record-breaking early voting and the deluge of voting by mail-in ballots. Read more on how the Times Free Press plans to handle this and where we get information on election results.
* Affiliation: Democrat
* Why should voters choose you? I'm running for Congress because our current leadership is failing us. We deserve someone who will show up for more than just ribbon cuttings — someone who will lead with compassion, serve with integrity and fight every day to solve the real problems facing the people of District 3.
* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? The polarized nature of our current Congress has proven to be a huge challenge facing this office. In order to lead with compassion and humanity, we must be able to have real, open discussion with our colleagues across the aisle and not allow disagreement to turn to hatred.
* How will you address this challenge? I'll address this challenge by sincerely connecting with my colleagues in Congress, not just the Democrats, not just the Republicans. Every person in our country deserves real, meaningful representation, and we can all benefit from a legislative body who puts people before power, money, or party. So often, the differences in opinion aren't about what needs to happen, but how it needs to happen. With fresh perspectives in Congress and by keeping an open mind, I know we can accomplish so much more and do right by the American people.
* What policy position of yours might surprise people? If this job is done the way it was intended, it shouldn't be sustainable long term. So I support term limits. In Congress, as with any demanding job, it's easy for people to become overworked, disillusioned and less effective. We need to restore these positions to ones of public service.
* What past or current public servant do you most admire? Why? I admire Sen. Bernie Sanders for his willingness to fight for what he believes in, even when he's been the odd man out or his positions have been considered radical. Being a leader means doing what's right, even when it's not easy — especially when it's not easy.
* Campaign website: meg2020.com
* Age on Election Day: 28
* Occupation: Store support leadership
* Employer: Whole Foods
* Education: Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
* Family: Single
* City of residence: Chattanooga
* Neighborhood of residence: North Chattanooga
* Church/civic involvement: Lots and lots of voter registration and outreach
* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-827-3310
Amber L. Hysell
*Why should voters choose you? I'm not on either of the teams that have taken turns gleefully driving our country off a cliff. I am not beholden to Republicans, who put their personal ideologies and agendas before their oath of office, and I am not beholden to Democrats, who believe they can shame their opponents into submission and are too lazy to do much else. I will actually read each piece of legislation in its entirety and vote according to the best interests of my district. I am not anyone's puppet or pawn, and I'm not begging people for money during a pandemic leading into an eviction crisis.
*What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? Restoring faith in our public officials, and getting local leaders to work together at all levels. People don't trust their elected officials, because they've repeatedly been betrayed and forgotten by them. Lots of big promises, followed by very little follow-through. I can see the problems we're facing, and I believe in solutions rather than committees to decide whether or not we should think about fixing the problem. Our leadership has neglected our infrastructure, abandoned our rural citizens and turned a blind eye to the suffering their pet project bills have caused. Enough is enough.
*How will you address this challenge? As I said, I would address them with solutions, rather than bickering about whether or not the challenges exist. We need funding for our infrastructure, schools and healthcare. We need jobs. We need a justice system that doesn't tear communities apart. We need to legalize/regulate/tax marijuana, release all non-violent drug offenders, and use the tax revenue to fund education, health care, infrastructure and entrepreneurial opportunities for our citizens.
*What policy position of yours might surprise people? I believe in term limits for all elected officials and Supreme Court justices. There should never be a lifetime appointment position in government, in any branch. Public service cannot be a vehicle for self enrichment and remain public service. There would need to be other changes made first, though. No elected official should be able to engage in any lobbying activity for at least 5 years after the end of their last elected position, even in a consulting capacity, and all campaigns should be 100% publicly funded with zero additional outside fundraising. You get the exact same resources as your opponents, and not a penny more. Anything less will allow this blatant corruption to continue until it destroys us.
*What past or current public servant do you most admire? Why? Jimmy Carter. Of all our past presidents still with us, he's the only one actively working to help others, and not actively seeking to be treated as a celebrity. He has an abundance of humility and just seems like a genuine human being in a way most of our public servants can no longer mimic.
*Campaign website: www.Hysell2020.com
*Age on Election Day: 36
*Education: Certificate in culinary arts
*Family: Married, 1 daughter (11)
*City of residence: Chattanooga
*Neighborhood of residence: Harrison
*Church/civic involvement: Minister of the Universal Life Church
*Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-582-0390
Keith Douglas Sweitzer (no response)