Gerry Leonard is the Republican nominee in the race for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.

Leonard is a political newcomer hailing from Jamestown. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than 30 years, including tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Somalia. He retired as a colonel in 2019.

Leonard is a graduate of North Kingstown High School, Hartwick College in New York, and the Naval War College.

Below are Leonard’s responses to a three-question survey from 12 News:

1. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the country today, and how do you think Congress should address it?

“Our national debt is the biggest issue that is going to affect our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but unfortunately, no one is taking the time to address the issue. Both Republicans and Democrats have contributed to the drastic increase of the national debt. We need leaders in Congress who understand that in order to significantly reduce our national debt, we need to grow our economy. That starts by enacting pro-growth policies, reducing red tape, and incentivizing small and mid-size businesses. The only way we can begin to climb out of our massive national debt hole is by growing our GDP.”

2. What is an under-the-radar issue you are passionate about which you would make one of your priorities in Congress?

“Veterans across our country are in desperate need of help. We must do better to provide assistance to veterans, incentivize businesses to hire veterans, and do more to encourage veterans to start and grow their own businesses.”

3. What do you think voters should know about your background that makes you stand out from the other candidates?

“We need leaders in Washington who understand that the decisions they make and the votes they cast have consequences on the lives of American families. I served our country in uniform for three decades in places like Kuwait, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I am the only candidate with real world problem-solving and leadership experience. In Afghanistan, I collaborated with the US Embassy, USAID, and 28 NATO nations to establish the rule of law, promote good governance and civil society, grow the economy, and reduce the effects of narco-trafficking. In Iraq, I worked with the United Nations to bring free and fair elections to Iraqis. Following the devastating 2018 hurricanes, I helped direct military assistance operations in support of civil authorities. This experience has prepared me to fight for common sense solutions in our nation’s capital. I am running to bring real leadership, common sense, and much-needed relief to Rhode Island families.”

Visit Leonard’s campaign website »

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