Justin Sanders, Rep.

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My roots are buried deep in the Upstate. My father retired after 25 years of driving for UPS and my mother has been working for a local attorney for the past 33 years. I was born and raised here, and when my parents parted ways the series of events that unfolded has led to my being here. I have lived all over Greenville county with my father and step-mother, I attended seven primary and three secondary schools. But still, I graduated on time from Greenville High School exactly fifty years after my grandfather did and even managed to letter in academics.

After graduation and with little direction, I enrolled in college at Charleston Southern University, but soon found out I wasn’t ready. I came back home and immediately started working. After a couple years of trying different things I decided I needed something more. I followed in the footsteps of my grandfathers and joined the US Army. I wanted to serve and make something of myself like they had. I became a field artillery cannon crew member in the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and began moving up the ranks. I deployed to Iraq twice, spending over two years firing artillery and running countless missions. I fulfilled my contract after five and a half years and was honorably discharged. I earned a multitude of medals including a Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, and Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon. 

I came back home to the Upstate and immediately enrolled in school at Greenville Tech as a university transfer student. I attended year-round and transferred to the University of South Carolina where I earned my Political Science degree. Every semester I worked hard and made the President’s list or the Dean’s list. It was during my time in school that I began volunteering in my community with disadvantaged boys. I entered the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program while in Greenville and helped out at Alston Wilkes Society in Columbia. I was a mentor that promoted learning and personal responsibility as a pathway to success. I made an impact on several young men’s lives and taught them to study hard, work harder, and maintain a high ethical standard. 

Over the past few years while working, I have been deciding on whether to pursue a JD/MA program or a teaching license. I settled on the latter and am currently pursuing the PACE program. When Rep. Trey Gowdy announced he was not seeking re-election I felt that the opportunity to help my community was too great to pass up. So, I decided to join the race, spread my message, and give it my all. All that I am doing, I am doing to better serve my neighbors in the Upstate. My passion is for helping people, guiding youth, and being an example. 

Would you vote to eliminate or uphold the second amendment? 
I will vote how my constituency tells me to vote. But I will lobby them to uphold the second amendment because rights are a responsibility that must be maintained. We cannot allow the errors of misguided individuals to create a sense of fear that push us to limit the freedoms of the whole. Fear is not an emotion with which we make decisions. 

Do you support or oppose the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum? 
I support Trump’s tariffs as a way to improve our position at the negotiation table with countries that try and take advantage of us.

Would you vote to approve funding for a wall on the US/Mexican border?
I will vote how my constituency tells me to vote, but I feel that the wall will be the same as a fence. Without proper surveillance, the wall will be rendered moot, and I feel that the money would be better spent funding more border patrols, personnel, and better equipment.   

Would you vote to ease or tighten restrictions on abortion? 
I would vote as the constituency tells me to vote. Again, I would lobby the constituency explaining that abortion is a medical procedure needed only in extreme circumstances (Life of the mother, rape, and incest). I do not think tax-payers’ dollars should go to pay for abortion as a means of birth control. As a medical procedure, the patients should be expected to pay for it themselves or have coverage that will help them pay. In my opinion, all life has inherent dignity and I will promote a safe and easier adoption policy to allow women who feel they cannot handle the responsibility of motherhood to give their child up to a couple that can provide a caring positive environment. 

Do you believe the American election system can be compromised by internal or external forces? 
I do, I think that if we become complaisant, interested actors will take advantage of it and use our own elections against us. I also believe the American election system can be made stronger and resistant to external forces. As for the internal forces that is what the election system is all about, if the forces are citizens’ actions. Also, I think that money is not necessarily a form of speech, I think that money is more powerful than speech and should be limited to an equal amount for all “actors” in the political arena.  

What is your stance on the Health Care Act?
I think that health care is a privilege not a right. I think that the cost of health care has risen too high for low and middle-class families and needs to be more competitive to drive down costs so that responsible hard-working individuals and families don’t have to worry about paying for routine care. It is set up so that the healthy pay for the sick, which is a government mandated charity. The government shouldn’t be in the business of charity. The government should be promoting education that helps the society become healthier. If government truly wished to help, it would spend more on education and helping families keep more of their money so they can better afford coverage. People need to learn the how to be responsible for their own choices and actions. Living a healthier life-style would drastically cut down on health care costs and the need for prescription medication. And with a healthier working class, elderly individuals would have more access to better insurance plans. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all piece of legislation, but it seems the people are looking for the federal government to provide one. Your health is your responsibility first and foremost