Keller points to values, free enterprise, health care options

Official Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Portrait

Fred Keller feels he’s the best candidate for the 12th Congressional District because he holds the values of the people who live there.

He said he learned those values while growing up poor in Sunbury.

After high school, he went to work in a factory and worked his way up to management, running the plant.

He eventually launched his own rental property company before successfully running for a state House seat.

Now, the Republican is hoping the win the House seat formerly held by Tom Marino, who resigned in January.

Tuesday’s race for the 12th District is a winner-take-all Special Congressional Election.

The top voter-getter will serve until January 2021, when the seat will again be up for election.

Keller faces opposition from Democrat Marc Friedenberg of State College.

When asked why he is running for Congress, Keller pointed to his biography.

He referred to his humble beginnings, his work experience.

“That is what this country is all about. It’s letting people know what the American Dream is all about,” he said.

Keller referred to President Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on the hill.”

He said it’s important that people’s voices are heard.

“People don’t want government to define them,” he said.

He criticized the government probe of President Trump regarding the Russians meddling in the 2016 election.

“Congress can either spend time doing expensive investigations or get down to solving issues that benefit every American,” he said.

As a former businessman, Keller said he knows what it takes to get the job done.

He emphasized that he and people of the district are hardworking and against government and its programs controlling their lives.

“They don’t want Medicare for all or the New Green Deal,” he said.

Rather, they want government to work for them.

“They are most successful when they can control their own lives,” he said.

Keller said he’s against a single-payer health care system.

He referred to the United Kingdom where he said people lose control of their health care options.

Keller recalled a personal experience when he refused to remove his infant son from life support, despite being advised by medical professionals to do so. Had his son, now an adult, been in a country with socialized medicine, Keller felt he would have had no choice in the matter.

“I want to have options for my loved ones,” he said.

He said a competitive health care market helps bring quality and lowers costs.

Keller said he wants to ensure infrastructure — roads, bridges and pipelines for natural gas — are in place and to bring broadband service to rural areas

He called the New Green Deal an expensive program that is about government control.

“My aim is to not make the U.S. a socialist nation,” he said. “We have to protect our right to bear arms.”

Free enterprise and fiscal responsibility are important, he added.

Keller said he is not one to blindly follow President Trump or the Republican Party line.

“I look at policies and issues,” he said.

As a state legislator and in business, he said he’s learned negotiating skills and how to work with those holding opposing views.