Republican joins fight to succeed Tsongas

In his first interview as an declared candidate for Congress, Republican Rick Green acknowledged voting for Donald Trump but said he will be running as “his own person” and on his record as a successful business owner.

“I have my own background, my own story, I think it’s a very important story to tell, and that’s what I’m going to run on,” Green said in an interview on Boston Herald Radio’s “Battenfeld” show.

“The president has done some things that I agree with, but there are other things, particularly things he says or the way he says them … I would handle things in a different way,” he said.

Green, 47, the only Republican candidate so far in the 3rd District race, is bound to get hammered by Democrats on his support for Trump, but he is more in the mold of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whom he raised money for in the 2016 campaign.

And Green’s business background and record give him a chance to make a strong push for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.

Green, from Pepperell, founded the politically powerful Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group that often targets Democrats, and started an online auto parts company.

But he said he was an independent voter until sometime after the 2010 election of former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, when he became a registered Republican.

Green also revealed he is a recent cancer survivor and has gotten an up-close look at some of the problems in the health care system.

“I think we can all agree the current system isn’t working. … We need quality outcomes and we need to deliver those quality outcomes at a better cost,” he said. “Right now, costs are just going through the stratosphere.”

Green said he would support revamping Obamacare by “reintroducing market forces” into the system and bringing down costs.

In the Herald Radio interview, Green also said that he prefers not to be called a conservative.

“I’m a businessman. That’s how I describe myself. I don’t think the labels are helpful,” he said.

On immigration, Green didn’t say whether he supports President Trump’s decision to revoke DACA, but indicated he would rather focus on helping immigrants who are here legally.

“You’ve got folks on the left who’ve gotten to a point when their frustration is so great that they basically want to just put the law aside and say let everybody come — let’s welcome them all,” Green said. “And we just can’t go there.”

And on his reaction to the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, Green said he was thinking about the survivors and the victims, not gun control.

“We don’t have the full story yet, we don’t know what motivated this guy, but this is pure evil,” he said. “I don’t know how you legislate it away.”

A number of Democratic elected officials are considering a 3rd District run, but the only official candidate besides Green is Democrat Dan Koh, former chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Original story by Joe Battenfeld, BOSTON HERALD

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