LYNN — Republican candidate for Congress and self-described problem solver Joseph S. Schneider said he can offer 6th Congressional District voters a clear-cut choice between himself and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton in November.
Running on the slogan, “Say no to the status quo,” the Beverly resident is the only Republican on the Sept. 4 primary ballot for the 6th District. Moulton, a Salem Democrat running for a third term in Congress, has no primary opponent.
Schneider, in an interview Thursday with Item and itemlive.com editors, said the 6th District, stretching from Amesbury to Lynn to Rockport, is not solidly Democrat.
“Given a choice at the ballot box, they will make a choice between a professional politician and someone who wants to represent their interests,” Schneider said.
The 67-year-old emigrated from his native Romania in 1962. An Army veteran, he founded JSA International, described on the company website as a strategic management consultant to aerospace and defense firms, in 1981. The firm is now called JSA Partners.
Congressional term limits is a top campaign issue for Schneider. He proposed House of Representative members serve up to six, two-year terms and U.S. senators serve a maximum two, six-year terms.
“Congress self regulates. It has an 11 percent approval rating. To get elected to Congress, it’s a question of money. Contributors to candidates get a 750-time return on their investment,” he said.
Calling Moulton “a major disappointment,” Schneider said the congressman is interested in serving “his own ambition.”
“He’s looking at the District as a stepping stone. That’s wonderful, but he hasn’t accomplished anything,” Schneider said.
He criticized Moulton for being critical of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi without citing specific concerns he has about the California Democrat. He said Moulton walked in lockstep with the Democratic party last year in opposing President Trump’s tax cut without speaking up for the 6th District on the cut’s merits and drawbacks.
“I would have been at the table trying to get the best deal for my constituents,” Schneider said.
Moulton spokesman Matt Corridoni said the congressman was not available for comment on Thursday. Corridoni said Moulton has commended Pelosi but thinks “it’s time for a new generation of leadership.” He said Moulton stated during the tax debate that “Democrats weren’t even invited to the table” to discuss the reforms.
Moulton has kicked off his reelection campaign and Corridoni said Moulton held more town meetings with constituents during his first term than any other Republican or Democrat in congress.
“Seth’s record for being a strong representative for the 6th District speaks for itself,” said Corridoni.
Discussing immigration, Schneider said he supports controlling the nation’s borders and “de-incentivizing people from coming to the U.S. from Central America.” He also said the nation needs “a path to citizenship” for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) children.
“I’m compassionate for people living here, but I know people who waited in line and did it legally,” he said.
Schneider said he supports Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and supports Trump’s stance on Iran which, he said, “is trying to reconstruct the Persian Empire.”
“All of these elements are really positive to bring stability to the Middle East,” he said.
He said the district’s next congressman must make ending rising income inequality and health costs priorities, adding he will work to “reinvigorate the middle class.”