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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

Christopher Peters back on campaign trail

By Ed Tibbetts, Quad City Times | Jul 28, 2017

CLINTON — It was just last November that Republican Christopher Peters lost to Rep. Dave Loebsack, but he’s already back on the campaign trail.

Driving in a 1968 VW bus, the Coralville surgeon made stops in a handful of eastern Iowa towns on Thursday, saying this time, it will be different.

“The big difference is we’re going to win in 2018,” he said.

Peters, a sort of last-minute candidate in 2016, is now starting 15 months before Election Day, twice the amount of time he gave himself last time. He faces a tough challenge. The midterms after a presidential election are often difficult for the party in the White House, and Loebsack already has $1.3 million in the bank, a record for him at this stage of an election cycle.

Still, Peters had a stronger than expected showing last year given that he had little name recognition or money. He lost by about 7 percentage points in a campaign that saw little spending on either side.

Peters said a focus of his campaign will be health care. He is critical of the Affordable Care Act but also of the bills to repeal and replace it, saying Congress needs to spend its time on solutions to bring down the cost of providing medical care. He also is pushing proposals that would lessen the influence of lobbyists and money in politics, as well as stop gerrymandering.

Peters won widespread attention last year when he said he would not vote for Donald Trump for president. He made the declaration after recordings surfaced of Trump boasting how he had kissed and groped women without their consent.

Now, Peters is more conciliatory toward the president. He said he approves of his choices of Terry Branstad as ambassador to China and Neil Gorsuch to be on the Supreme Court.

However, asked whether he is glad Trump got elected, he responds: “I’m glad Hillary Clinton wasn't elected.”

But for Republicans who might have doubts, he said, “I’m going to be more supportive of things Donald Trump might want to try to do than, say, Dave Loebsack would be.”


Peters was making stops in Tipton, Clinton and Walcott on Thursday, part of a weeklong tour announcing his candidacy in the 2nd Congressional District.


So far, no other Republican has announced a bid for the GOP nomination. However, there are months to go before the filing deadline, and the primary isn’t until next June.


At an appearance in Clinton before about a half dozen people, Peters said it’s time for a change. He is mildly critical of Loebsack but also argues there is a bipartisan culture that caters too much to special interests.

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