A former Wayne State College professor is running as a Democrat against Third Congressional District Republican incumbent Adrian Smith.
Former Wayne State Dean of Education and Counseling, Paul Theobald, now operates a small farm in Pierce County while working remotely for the University of Southern Indiana-Evansville.
Theobald says during his 40-year career as an educator he has watched the population of the Third Congressional District erode and he says federal policy from Washington, D.C. has had a significant, negative impact on the district.
Theobald criticizes federal agricultural policy. He contends the Farm Bill which Congressman Smith supports favors corporate farms over family farms. Theobald says that has led to farm consolidation, eroding the population and, thus, the tax base of the district further.
Health care is a huge issue in this political campaign, with Theobald noting that many of the residents of the district are either self-employed or work for small businesses. Few offer quality health insurance.
He favors a health care overhaul.
“So, I’m unapologetically in favor of Medicare-for-all,” Theobald tells Nebraska Radio Network in an interview. “I really find it difficult to believe that if you’re in the Third District and you care about Third District residents that you would not be in favor of Medicare-for-all.”
Theobald is critical of Smith’s support for the Republican tax reform package approved this year. He calls it one of the worst fiscal policies ever approved, claiming it will benefit the wealthy of the country while swelling the federal deficit.
Theobald also is critical of President Donald Trump, saying that rural America voted for him in 2016, believing he would have their back. Theobald says Trump has betrayed the Third District by scrapping trade deals and pushing policies which favor big corporations over rural residents.
Congressman Smith has represented the district since 2007.
Theobald understands his is an uphill battle against an entrenched incumbent.
“For me, I mean I could not try, could not not try, let’s put it that way, in terms of going to Washington to defend it, to revitalize it, to change policy that will keep farmers and ranchers on the land.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]