On July 4, 2017, a big announcement was made official in Peculiar, MO. Austin Petersen announced his run for the United States Senate on the Republican ticket. He will be challenging incumbent Claire McCaskill in 2018.
Some may recall his name from the presidential primary election where he ran on the libertarian ticket against Gary Johnson. Petersen said that his decision to run on the Republican ticket was made after talking with thousands of supporters who encouraged him to do so in order to have a legitimate chance against McCaskill. “No matter what letter comes after my name, nothing changes in here,” said Petersen with his hand on his heart. “I will always believe in the principles of liberty.”
The damp weather on the 4th did not dampen the spirits of more than 300 people who were on hand to celebrate his announcement. There were stage coach rides, bounce houses, fun kid crafts, and excellent BBQ as well. But what the people really showed up for was to hear Petersen and his promise to run on his “pro-life, pro-liberty, and pro-constitution” platform.
Petersen took the opportunity to touch on some key issues he will focus on during his campaign. Healthcare was the first topic. As a small business owner, he watched his health insurance get cancelled under the Affordable Care Act and his premiums quadrupled. “I’m a victim of this legislation.” He does not believe that government should be involved in healthcare period. “It’s not because we aren’t compassionate. It’s not because we don’t care. We do care. We think we can get better medical care the less government is involved. Obamacare is a give-away to the rich insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. That mandate is wrong and it’s unconstitutional.”
For the state of Missouri, Petersen is focused on job growth. He believes that this has to be done through the private sector, not through the government. “Government doesn’t create jobs.” He gave an example of drawing a bucket of water from one side of a pool and walking to the other side and pouring it in. “That is what the government is doing when they tax us in order to create jobs and it has to stop. We have to stop making it so hard for people to achieve the American dream. When we are entrepreneurs, and we are individually motivated and individually empowered, that is true freedom and that is what I want for Americans.”
Petersen also wants to see fewer taxes levied on the American people. “In a perfect world I want to get rid of the income tax. ‘Make America Great Again’ is great, but why don’t we make ‘Taxation Is Theft’ again?” He advocates a 15% flat tax rate across the board. “We have to level the playing field. Why don’t we get some tax cuts for the poor and middle class? That’s what I want.”
Another topic he touched on was criminal justice system reform. “Kansas City just voted to decriminalize [marijuana], and I’m behind it one hundred percent.” Petersen said that America is only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s criminal population. “That is a direct result of this unconstitutional and illegal war on drugs. This is an issue of the 9th and 10th Amendments. This should not be a federal issue. I will strive to put Washington in its rightful place as the protector of our liberties, not our nanny state political policeman.”
He touched briefly on foreign policy advocating a strong military defense, but believing it is time to bring the troops home from overseas. In closing he made this promise to his supporters, “I will make you proud to be my family, my friends, and my fellow Americans.”
For more information about Austin Petersen and his campaign go to www.austinpetersen.com or to Austin Petersen@AP4Liberty on Twitter and Facebook.