A lawyer making his first bid for elected office announced Thursday that he will run as a Republican for the Fourth Congressional District seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who is seeking a fifth term.
Ed Matthews said his priorities as a candidate will be to oppose congressional earmarking and to make the 2003 Bush tax cuts permanent.
"Most of these [earmark] projects lack merit and serve no purpose other than to reward members' supporters and favored political constituencies," Matthews said in a statement starting his campaign. "For those projects that do have merit, they should go through the normal appropriations process, be debated on the House floor and voted on out in the open."
Matthews, 34, also advocates replacing the current tax system with a flat tax and reducing the current corporate income tax, which he said would promote job creation and capital formation.
John Meyer, a veteran and senior at Hamline University, also has announced his candidacy as a Republican to oppose McCollum, who was first elected in 2000.
The Fourth District includes St. Paul and several suburbs. It has been a solidly Democratic district since Eugene McCarthy was elected to office beginning in 1949.
McCollum garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote in her last reelection bid in 2006.