ER's Gales: Congress lacks 'courage'
It’s time for a new face in Congress — and Terre Gales thinks he’s the man for the job.
Gales, of Eagle River, is one of eight candidates hoping to unseat 20-term Congressman Rep. Don Young for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Gales is one of three Republicans who will appear on the Primary Election ballot Aug. 28. Young and John Cox, of Anchor Point, are the others.
Fellow Eagle River resident Doug Urquidi is one of five Democrats in the race. The others include Debra Chesnut, of Fairbanks, Sharon Cissna, of Anchorage, Matt Moore, of Anchorage, and Frank Vondersaar, of Homer.
Jim McDermott, of Fairbanks, is the lone Libertarian candidate.
Gales said Congress has lost its passion.
“There’s so many problems that we have and there’s no boldness, no courage anymore,” he said.
Gales said one reason for that apathy could be some representatives have been serving for too long. Whatever the explanation, it’s time for a change, he said.
“It’s just time to move to the future,” Gales said.
Gales considers the fact that he’s never sought public office before as a positive.
“I think that might be a good thing, considering the path that Congress has been taking over the last couple of years,” he said. “I don’t think any one of them have a very good reputation for running the country the way it should be.”
The economy ranks high on Gales’ list of important issues. He said high corporate taxes stifle job creation and directly affect the economy.
The tax code, too, needs to be simplified, Gales said.
“I don’t understand that thing and I don’t think anybody does,” he said. “It’s a little convoluted and complicated.”
Gales said he supports creating an amendment that forces Congress to present a balanced budget.
“Our Congress has failed to balance the budget … for a very long time now,” he said. “If we keep borrowing money from countries like China, they won’t have money to spend on American products.”
The U.S. needs to be less dependent on foreign oil, Gales said. Spending billions to purchase oil from hostile military countries is illogical, he said.
“These are people that don’t like us, and we’re making them more wealthy,” Gales said.
Gales, who currently works as an asset protection manager for Sears Holdings Corporation, served in Iraq and Afghanistan while in the U.S. Air Force. He said more veterans need to seek public office.
“We’re people who are willing to literally sacrifice our lives for this nation,” Gales said. “People with that type of willingness … are the type of people we need.”
Gales said the oath he took entering the Air Force to uphold and honor the U.S. Constitution is a pledge he takes seriously. He said he would continue to honor that oath if elected.
Gales left active duty in 2004, then served as a contractor for the United States Department of Defense in the Aleutian Islands. That’s where he met his wife, Alyssa.
The couple, who now have three children, relocated to Eagle River in January after spending time in Arizona to care for Alyssa’s ailing grandfather.
Gales said too many Congress members fail to vote on every issue.
“I find that to be a disservice to the many people of this state,” he said. “If I only came to work 84 percent of the time, I wouldn’t have a job much longer.”
Alaska’s delegation in Washington, D.C., needs to be held accountable, Gales said.
Someone who can relate to ordinary citizens is needed in office, he said.
“I’m just an average every day American who really cares about the success of his country,” Gales said. “That’s why I’m doing this.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org