Scott Gryder: 2022 candidate for U.S. House 14th District

  • Scott Gryder is a Republican running for U.S. House 14th District.

    Scott Gryder is a Republican running for U.S. House 14th District.

Updated 5/31/2022 9:44 AM


Party: Republican


Office sought: U.S. House 14th District

City: Oswego


Occupation: President & Senior Counsel -- Commercial Services, Near North Title Group

Previous offices held: Chairman, Kendall County Board, Vice-Chairman, Oswego Library District


What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?

Evidence shows the public interest is most secure when government is inefficient in decision-making. Framers intended Congress to represent the people's will and our system of checks and balances increases the likelihood that policy reflects broad interests. Legislative debates may be strongly contested yet doing so respectfully encourages productive dialogue. By maintaining collegiality, a leader can be cooperative without compromising principle. During my tenure as Chairman the Kendall Board, I earned a reputation as a thoughtful leader who works to forge consensus. Politics for politics sake is posturing, I prefer common sense solutions that get results. Conducting our national business this way fosters an environment where government may work more effectively. Importantly, the debate required to produce well-vetted policy may reveal government isn't the solution at all and the preferred approach is to allow people agency to conduct their affairs as best suits their lives.

What is your position on changing voter access?

The right of American citizens to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. Today, all US citizens 18 or older enjoy the right to vote, subject to minor exceptions. This right came at a high cost -- brave men and women fought, and tragically, died to gain and protect this right. Respecting these individuals, I do not believe voter access should be changed. Moreover, civic duty to protect this right for future generations requires free and fair elections safeguarded against interference or legal circumvention. Those entitled to vote should be able to register, choose between candidates without coercion, and after all legally cast votes are counted, the announced results should reflect actual totals. To help safeguard election integrity, voters should identify themselves during registration and voting, and polling places should be staffed by well-trained election workers, especially election judges to enforce the election laws and ensure our election process is free and fair.

Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?

His election was legitimate per the law as interpreted by a number of courts. Whether it was fair is debatable. I support free and fair elections. Last election offered unprecedented, sudden change to voting procedure due to health concerns made by election officials and partisan courts. A massive influx of private money was injected into the process. These abnormalities may have been benign; public health is important; election administration in many jurisdictions needs reform, training, and equipment yet reasonable people may be uncomfortable with such shifts away from American democratic norms. As the rush to confirm the election prevented these and other irregularities from being considered fully, it is unlikely we will ever know the entire story of interference. Alleging there was no fraud doesn't rise to the standard of truth per criminal convictions related to the 2020 election. Avoiding similar questions over future elections requires we improve election integrity.

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What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?

To prevent a sudden collapse of security resulting in the physical breach of the Capitol from occurring again, I urge the meaningful implementation of the 104 recommendations proposed by the USCP OIG and US GAO following testimony before the House Administration Committee and Senate Rules & Administration Committee in response to investigators findings of security deficiencies including pre-planning failures, lack of hardened building security and actionable procedures related to intelligence gathering, information sharing, chain of command directions, communication, preparedness, training, leadership development, emergency response procedures, and law enforcement coordination. Unfortunately, congressional Democratic leadership has taken little real action to address these serious security vulnerabilities well over a year following January 6, leaving the USCP's extraordinary men and women dedicated to protecting the Capitol unprepared to prevent such collapses in the future.

What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?

The principal obligation of the federal government is to provide for our common defense. Tyranny and injustice thrive when America is weakened. The oppressed have no greater ally than a confident and determined United States, backed by the strongest military on the planet. In the international arena, Joe Biden's weak Administration invites global aggression resulting in an emboldened China in the South China Sea, a resurgent Russia occupying parts of Ukraine and threatening its neighbors, and an aggressive terror network reemerging in the Middle East. Together with our allies, I support increased sanctions and material support of Ukraine until its sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored. We must continue to prepare to confront challenges to our national interest wherever they arise, especially in regard to supporting our allies and other democratic nations. Our vigilance also requires resistance to acting cavalierly, without regard to loss of American life and treasure.

Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?

Change can be due to natural and human causes. We need realistic strategies focused on American resources and innovation embraced by free markets. This conservative approach works; US emissions dropped more than the next seven countries combined from 2005-2020. Government mandates and global compacts have failed. Emissions increased 6.2% during Biden's first year. American progress is offset by China increasing emissions by nearly four tons for every ton the US reduces. Tractors made in Des Moines shipped to Brazil are cheaper because they don't require the same emission controls. Restrictions have costs, we need a thoughtful approach to manufacturing policy, or we will continue sending emissions, jobs, and dollars overseas. We must increase exports of American agriculture. Our farmers use less resources, release fewer emissions, and produce more. Continuing to block a realistic, cohesive energy strategy increases fuel and other prices while continuing a trajectory of higher emissions.

Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA is an unsustainable status quo. Families face rising costs, less choice, and risk losing doctors or plans they like. We can: Give individuals the same tax-free access to insurance employers now enjoy; Allow employers to offer workers higher wages rather than "free" benefits to obtain needed care; Abolish mandates, allowing carriers to offer reasonably priced products people want and can use; Allow for low-cost catastrophic plans nationally, accompanied by HSAs; Increase risk pools to make insurance more attractive to healthy individuals; Increase price transparency to lower drug costs without price controls; Increase private investment for breakthrough cures and treatments; Restore the doctor-patient relationship; Allow states to set up high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions. We need real reform to return patient control, not expand government beurocrats' influence, ensuring America leads in life-saving medical breakthroughs to improve quality of life.

What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?

America benefits from immigrants who become citizens to obtain a better life and assimilate into the fabric of our great nation. I know many such wonderful patriots. Yet, an undeniable crisis on our southern border exists due to Biden's open border policy and rhetoric. This is a dangerous state of affairs and our top priority must be to control this crisis before any reform of our broken system begins. I support common-sense immigration reform that secures our borders, reduces crime, combats human and drug trafficking, discourages illegal immigration, supports law enforcement, and provides a realistic pathway for those seeking citizenship who arrived illegally while honoring aspiring citizens who respected our laws when entering the US. I would add, until such policy exists, we must continue enforcing Title 42 which has assisted the brave men and women serving on our border, and without which will only worsen an outrageously out of control humanitarian and legal crisis.

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