SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Election Day is approaching and over the next few weeks KTIV will be talking to candidates for races for the U.S House and U.S. Senate in all three Siouxland states.
The first KTIV will focus on is the race for the Iowa U.S. Senate seat. The four candidates include Republican incumbent Joni Ernst, Democratic nominee Theresa Greenfield, Independent Suzanne Herzog and Libertarian Rick Stewart.
KTIV's Matt Breen talked with Rick Stewart, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa, to learn more about his campaign. You can read the full interview below:
"Rick Stewart, you ran for this U.S. Senate seat in 2014, and finished third behind the winner Joni Ernst, and Democrat Bruce Braley, with a little over two-percent of the vote," said Matt Breen. "What will make the outcome different this time around?"
"Well, I'll probably double my vote total, and hopefully I'll get to five-percent," said Rick Stewart, (L) U.S. Senate Candidate. "If I'm lucky, I'll win."
"So, you fully expect that you could win this race?" asked Breen.
"Well, most Iowans are Libertarians, they just aren't sure about it," Stewart said. "Once they find out there's a Libertarian that stands for their values then I'm fairly certain that they'd vote for me."
"What's "job one" if you're elected to the U.S. Senate?" asked Breen.
"The first thing to do is to bring the budget into alignment with the taxes that we collect," said Stewart. "So, instead of spending a trillion dollars more, we're only spending what we take in. That's 'job number one.'"
"How do you curry favor with one of the two major political parties-- Republicans or Democrats-- as a Libertarian?" asked Breen.
"Well, I'm not going to curry favor with anyone, I will be a friend to everybody," Stewart said. "I'm going to have 99 friends in the Senate, and I'm not going to have any enemies. I sit down with everybody, and I talk with them, and we'd discuss things in a rational way. We're not acrimonious, we don't hate each other, we're not afraid of each other. I don't think that's hard. That's the way the Senate used to be. I think that's the way it should be."
"Does it give you more power because you aren't beholden to the two major political parties?" asked Breen.
"It sure does," Stewart said. "You can always vote with the Democrats, or with the Republicans, and they're never sure. They have to convince you. They have to persuade me to vote with them. And, I'm open to persuasion. I'm not open to yelling, and screaming, and nagging."
"At some point, Congress will have to take up another Coronavirus relief package," Breen said. "I read that you had COVID-19. How did that change your perspective on how Congress addresses relief, and how would you change the government's current response?"
"I would put all of the money into stimulus checks to every American," Stewart said. "The rest of the money was pretty much wasted on special interests and lobbyists. The best way to get money into the economy is to help them out... send them a check and they can decide for themselves how they're going to spend that check. That's why I support a universal basic income."
"What qualifies you to serve in the U.S. Senate?" asked Breen.
"The most important thing is that I served 24 years as a businessman, who built my company from nothing to 300 employees," Stewart said. "Today, it's a $200-million company. And, that was in the private sector. I've never been a government employee. This would be the first time. I'm going to bring the perspective of private ownership, private business, and a successful career, into the Senate because I learned how to get things done. I didn't spend my time arguing with people."
"Rick Stewart, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa... best of luck on Election Day," said Breen.
"Thank you very much." Stewart said. "I appreciate your time."
"Thank you," said Breen.
You can watch the other candidates' interviews by following the links below: