Christopher Peters highlights reducing regulation in second bid for Congress

Christopher Peters is making a second bid to represent southeast Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Nick Rohlman

Dr. Christopher Peters stands for a portrait in the Daily Iowan newsroom on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

Aadit Tambe, News Reporter

Republican congressional candidate and Coralville resident Christopher Peters seeks to reduce federal regulation of health care and open more pathways for immigrants to come to America legally.

Peters is running for the second time against Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, for the seat representing Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Libertarian candidate Mark Strauss is also vying for the seat.

Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Peters, 58, grew up there and attended medical school at the University of Kansas. He then served for nine years in the Army, which included a five-year residency. He was posted in Hawaii, where he met the woman who became his wife, Julie.

Peters completed his residency in thoracic surgery at the University of Oklahoma. An Iowa resident of 14 years, he currently lives in Coralville, with his wife and three sons — Cole, Jake, and Caleb.

Peters said he’s expanded his staff and gained experience and name recognition running in the district for a second time. His opponent, Loebsack, won in 2016 with 51 percent of the vote against Peters, who garnered 44 percent.

“We can build upon last time,” he said. “And most importantly, the experience we had — good and bad. [We know] the things we needed to do better this time than we did last time.”

Peters, with experience as a surgeon, said he wants to stimulate more health-care options for patients to spur competition and lower costs.

“And nobody — Republicans or Democrats — is speaking in a substantive way on that issue,” he said. “Health-care cost is one thing Congress could address, and it would have the biggest boon to our economy.”

Peters said it is important to consider revamping the current health-care system entirely. He aims to reintroduce free-market principles into the health-care field while providing support for those who need it.

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With insurance narrowing patients’ options, he said, patients lose the sense of their autonomy and ability to control decisions. Peters said he wants to place the patients first and give them the room to choose the kind of treatment they want to receive.

The second important issue he said he’s talked with voters in the 2nd District about is immigration.

“I am all for securing the border to the best degree in a cost-effective manner,” he said. “We don’t want to waste taxpayer dollars on doing something that’s not helpful.”

We need to try something different. I want to change the status quo.

— Christopher Peters

Peters said he wants to make it easier for immigrants to enter the country through legal channels in order to to cut down on illegal immigration.

“President Trump has talked about it, so I am supportive of that,” he said. “We can compete with illegal immigration with expanding our legal [immigration] system.”

If undocumented immigrants have demonstrated good behavior, they should be a part of our society, he said. If they are involved in crime, however, they should be removed by deportation.

Peters said there should be more private-school options, especially in locations in which the public-school system is not good.

“The goal should always be to make sure our children get the best education they can get,” he said.

Peters highlighted the importance of looking beyond party politics. He said his ideals cross often with libertarian views. Many of his policy ideas advocate for smaller government and greater personal freedom, such as privacy protection and reducing drug-related criminal penalties.

“It is time we try something different,” he said. “We need to restore dialogue, we need to talk to one another. Status quo has failed us. We need to try something different. I want to change the status quo.”