"A Closer Look" - newcomer Andrade seeks NC7 GOP nomination - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

"A Closer Look" - newcomer Andrade seeks NC7 GOP nomination

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Retired Army veteran Chris Andrade is one of three candidates running in the Seventh Congressional District GOP primary Retired Army veteran Chris Andrade is one of three candidates running in the Seventh Congressional District GOP primary

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – After ending a military career that spanned more than 30 years, Chris Andrade wanted to speak up. He had never run for political office, but admitted to being unsatisfied with politicians in Washington, DC that are running the government. It became a case of put up or shut up.

"I looked at the political landscape and I told my wife ‘I can't sit here and complain about who runs and how the government is going, if I have an ability to run and I don't'," Andrade said. "So I decided to enter this race to give voters another option in this election."

The newcomer from Fayetteville is one of three men seeking the Republican nomination in North Carolina's Seventh Congressional District race. Rep. Mike McIntyre has held the seat for 18 years, but he is not running for re-election in 2014. "I think this is the best time right now for a newcomer to run," Andrade said about running to replace the long-time incumbent.  "I think the timing is right. I think people are tired.  I think people really want solutions. I think people want something responsible, something honorable. I think people want to be proud of their leaders in government."

While not calling himself a "moderate" Republican ("I don't do labels, because I think that puts people in a box," he says), Andrade's stance on some of the more controversial issues strays from many of his fellow members in the GOP.

For one, Andrade does not favor repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He prefers a ‘correct and simplify' option rather than ‘repeal and smash' of the law, and believes coverage of pre-existing conditions and having children covered under their parents' healthcare policy should be continued. The much-maligned healthcare.gov website should also be expanded, Andrade says, to cross state lines much like sales of home and auto insurance policies.

"The repeal argument is kind of a moot point right now," Andrade says of the ACA. "There is going to have to be a new healthcare system that incorporates some of the good things from Obamacare, and then implement a new healthcare plan. But, it has got to be in a phased approach because the people have suffered enough." He touts the option put forward by Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and others, called the Patient Care Act, although Andrade suggests it needs a strong website component incorporated in the plan.

Another stance Andrade takes that differs from many other Republicans is on same-sex marriage. He supports it, saying on his website ‘marriage is a legal union and not a religious union'. "Right now being a homosexual is not illegal," Andrade begins his explanation. "They are citizens. You go back 200 years and when people got married they entered their name in a Bible, and that was their marriage. But, through time, and government oversight, you had to enter into a state's civil union laws so you could not abandon your wife or your children. So every marriage to a certain extent is a binding civil contract with that state, and if people of the same sex want to enter into a lifetime contract under a civil union, I have no problem with that.  Our Constitution was written so that every citizen, regardless of religion or lack thereof, has the same rights."

Andrade recently took the stage for his first candidates' debate, hosted by the Brunswick County Republican Women. He appeared along with fellow GOP candidates David Rouzer and Woody White, who he calls "accomplished men who have been in this a little longer than I have". When Andrade was asked what has to happen for a first-time candidate to win a seat in Congress, he was straightforward.

"I think what I have to do is truly inspire the people, and if I can get that done, then I'll be elected. If I can't, I shouldn't be."

To see Chris Andrade's campaign website and his stance on other issues, click here: http://bit.ly/1h4yF4t .

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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