ST. GEORGE – Jay Seegmiller is the Democratic candidate running for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. Seegmiller paid a visit to St. George last week for the grand opening of the Southern Utah Democratic Field Office.
Just who is Seegmiller and what does he bring to the table for voters to consider?
Professionally, he is a conductor for Amtrak, and is also a former state legislator, having served in the Utah House representing District 49 from 2009-2011.
While in the Utah House, Seegmiller said he “voted against every tax increase” that crossed his legislative path. He also described his overall voting record as moderate and consistent. For people who may be doubtful of his claim, Seegmiller encouraged a study of his voting record, rather than solely relying on what he or anyone else had to say in the matter.
Like any candidate, Seegmiller has his core issues he addresses while on the campaign trail. While the issues can be numerous, he pointed out one that was his primary focus.
“Jobs are my number one priority,” he said.
“Jay for Jobs”
Pertaining to jobs, Seegmiller said American jobs need to be brought back from overseas and the nation’s manufacturing prowess needs to be rebuilt. According to statements on his website, he also seeks to increase American exports and said that declassified, advanced technologies currently used by the government need to be moved into the private sector.
“There are many declassified discoveries that can and should be commercialized with little difficulty and relatively small entrance barriers,” he stated on the website.
Connected with jobs is education. High tech industry and innovation may help the economy but such industries require highly skilled individuals to fulfill the various job positions that come with them. Still, where no skilled labor force exists, the tech industry can’t take root so easily. To help remedy this, Seegmiller said he would go to Congress with the intent of making education more affordable for students. He would also seek to establish “tech-transfer partnerships” between colleges and employers that could get students into the workplace right after graduation.
“I believe my message will resonate with voters,” Seegmiller said. To emphasize his push for ways to promote job creation, Seegmiller’s campaign slogan has become “Jay for Jobs.”
Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate
With attention recently focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding the individual mandate and other elements of the Affordable Care Act, Seegmiller readily stated he voted against the mandate in the Utah House in 2009.
“(The ACA) didn’t do enough to address the cost of healthcare,” Seegmiller said.
While he does not like aspects of the ACA, he said it “got some movement in the right direction.”
Yet, a reason why parts of the bill come up short, he said, was because it didn’t get enough input from both sides of the political aisle.
Common ground on healthcare should have been established first, Seegmiller said. Once there was a solid foundation to build upon, then the particulars could have been debated.
“Start with something you can agree on, and go from there,” he said.
Returning to the subject of jobs in relation to the ACA, Seegmiller said he was concerned about the impact it could have on small businesses. While he doesn’t want the bill repealed in its entirety, he said it was in need of additional work.
Drawing out the conservatives
While visiting Southern Utah, Seegmiller said he had drawn support from Republican state delegates thanks to their being disillusioned with the current political climate.
“People on both sides aren’t happy,” he said.
“I’ll bring everyone to the table,” Seegmiller said, and added he would reach across the aisle to Republicans. He cited how Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat, and then-Sen. Bob Bennett, a Republican, were able to work together to create the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act in 2009 as an example of the type of bi-partisanship he hoped to foster.
Seeking to find common ground with the other side, coupled with his stand on jobs and other issues, is something Seegmiller said would resonate with voters, no matter their party affiliation.
“There are other options (outside of the Republicans),” he said.
Along with job creation, education and healthcare, additional issues Seegmiller highlights are energy policy, fairness and equality, and immigration. Seegmiller’s positions on these issues can be researched in more detail at JayforJobs.com.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.