Republican Jay Allen said he decided to run for Congress when he watched the Democratic presidential debates.

"I did not like the direction they were planning to lead the country," Allen said.

He is the Republican nominee seeking the U.S. House seat that represents Maine's First District, which covers southern Maine, including Knox County. He is challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of North Haven.

Allen said he decided someone had to stop the Democrats, and since he took an oath to the defend the U.S. Constitution while he served 23 years in the Army as a doctor, he decided to do what he could to "uphold that oath and do what I can can to bring a voice of reason to Washington, D.C."

What he said particularly bothered him was what he said were promises by Democrats to provide "free stuff." He said nothing is free. He said to try to keep those promises Democrats will not only increase taxes on the rich but also the middle class and working poor.

Allen said when he retired from the Army after 23 years, he moved to Maine, and he and his wife moved into his mother-in-law's former home. Since moving to Maine four years ago, he has operated a medical practice in Waldoboro.

Allen said he opposes Medicare for all because it would eliminate choice. He said it was unacceptable to him to eliminate a person's choice to have private insurance.

The physician said the country could return to the time when there were many charity hospitals. The Republican claimed those charity hospitals went away when government began taking control of health care.

Allen also called for the expansion of health savings accounts. He argued that healthcare was so expensive because no one is looking at costs and that patients should be offered incentives to shop around for medical care. He said President Trump has done a lot to make the cost of healthcare more transparent.

The Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed, he said, contending that it is not affordable.

Allen defended President Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that response to the pandemic is really a state level matter and does not require a federal response.

Allen said he is opposed to mandating the wearing of face coverings. He said it made no sense for healthy people to wear coverings. He claimed that Lincoln County, for example, only has a few active cases and even if the confirmed cases were only 10% of all active cases, that would mean about 20 to 40 people in a county of 14,000 people have the virus.

"Individual rights are paramount. We should protect individual rights more than we protect individual health," Allen said.

While the U.S. House has no role in confirming a presidential nomination to the Supreme Court, he said the Senate should confirm the president's nominee to the nation's highest court.

The biggest challenge facing the country is the inability of people of different political philosophies to to talk with each other. Allen claimed conservative views were not being allowed on Facebook.

Allen said to improve the economy, the federal government needs to "limit frictional costs," meaning cutting taxes. He said if consumers have more money, they will stimulate the economy.

Allen said the federal deficit is unsustainable and said Republicans also have not done a good job of lowering it. He said non-essential programs need to be cut.

The Republican candidate said he does not believe humans are the main cause of climate change. He said even if you believe climate change is a problem, the solutions by Democrats are not feasible.

He said getting rid of fossil fuels would harm Maine since there is not extensive public transportation. He said lobster boats need fossil fuels.

Allen also claimed solar panels do not pay for themselves.

Claims that there is systematic racism in police departments across the country is a false narrative, he said. He said a very small percentage of officers are racists and maintained that the movement for reform is demoralizing the ranks.

The chief foreign policy challenge is the rise of China, he said. The U.S. needs to bring back manufacturing so the country does not rely so much on China.

Allen said his life has been devoted to public service and contended that Pingree's life has been devoted to politics

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