Congressional candidate Andrew Grant covers wide array of topics in Elk Grove town hall

August 17, 2018 |  

In a town hall meeting held in Elk Grove last night, congressional candidate Andrew Grant covered a wide array of topics in what is the first of six such meetings scheduled with voters. Grant, a Republican, is challenging incumbent Democratic representative Dr. Ami Bera for California's 7th Congressional District, which includes all of Elk Grove.

The well-attended meeting held at Laguna Town Hall included a lengthy question and answer period that Grant said would be more of an open exchange of ideas. During this exchange, about two dozen questions were asked and a range of local, state and nation topics ranging from the housing crisis to the Iran nuclear deal.

Grant noted that it takes about seven years from the time a residential development is planned until initial occupancy and said this adds extra costs to housing. Those additional costs incurred in California are driving developers out of state to where development costs are lower. 

"They are deciding to develop homes in Texas and other places where their return on investment is much faster," he said. 

Discussing the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, Grant drew on his experience as a military officer and diplomat with the U.S. State Department. Before entering the private sector, Grant, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, served as a Marine officer for nine years and worked in various roles in the federal government including the State Department were in the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 attacks, he worked on monitoring of nuclear weapons.

"The challenge of the Iranian deal is that it is not verifiable," Grant stated. "It's impossible to confirm that the Iranians are not continuing to develop a nuclear capability.

Grant also heard questions on several social issues including reproductive and second amendment rights.

On reproductive rights, Grant noted he is personally pro-life, but noted abortion is legal. When asked if he would support courts turning over Roe v. Wade, Granted stated if elected he would not make it one of his legislative priorities. 

"I am pro-life" he stated. "Will I be someone back in Washington D.C. who is pushing, pushing, pushing to overturn Roe v Wade? I am probably not going to place that as a priority to be honest with you."   

Another social issue Grant touched on was Second Amendment rights. Although he said he supports the right to bear arms and believes federal gun controls will not reduce gun violence, he does not have a relationship with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Grant also said he does not support arming teachers say they "should be focused on education."

Later in the session, when asked again about gun control and why he had not formed a relationship with the NRA, Grant said the group does some good work on behalf of its membership. However, he noted as the father of three school-aged children he went through a self-described "sea change" following the Parkland, Florida school shooting earlier this year.

"I've got three kids, three kids that are all going into those formative years in high school," he said. "If I'm going to be elected to Congress, then I am going to make sure I can do at that level and help those three kids, and all of your kids."

Regarding a question on the federal debt, Grant noted that 70-percent of the budget is dedicated to non-discretionary items, most notably, Social Security and Medicare. Noting the promises made, Grant said that commitment must not be broken but was open to government reform measures. 

"I'm going to protect those," he said of Social Security and Medicare. "We made a promise we need to keep."

Asked what his legislative priorities would be for the 7th district if elected, Grant said he would push to have Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) District 9 headquarters moved from Oakland to adjacent to the California Office of Emergency Services at Mather Airfield in Rancho Cordova. 

"FEMA District 9 is headquartered out of a building on top of the Hayward fault line," he said. "If there is a 6.5, 6.9 something earthquake, I'm not sure FEMA is going to come to the aid of anyone in California." 

Not until the end of the meeting did Grant address one of continuing concerns of people nationwide, healthcare and escalating insurance premiums. Although he offered few specifics, Grant, who has voiced support for a market-based solution to health care, said the current system is not sustainable. 

"There are two solutions - either we find a way to roll back to a more private market construct around healthcare, or we go to single-payer," he said. "Because it is untenable what happens right now." 


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