Democratic candidate Dimitri Shein is running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and made a stop in Homer Friday to meet with residents during the House District 31 Democratic Caucus. The Anchorage Democrat is one of two candidates trying to unseat Republican Congressman Don Young in the fall. Alyse Galvin, the other candidate, also participated in the caucus over the web and visited Homer in person last month. Both gave speeches on their platforms and answered questions from residents.
Shein told the audience about how he and his mother immigrated to Anchorage from Soviet Russia when he was 12-years -old and how he became an inventor and businessman.
“I started the business as an accountant traveling all over Alaska working with Alaska Native tribal governments and village corporations and that surely got to see what Alaska looks like in the villages,” he said.
His wife and children are Alaskan Native and he says the fully funded care they receive is a model for the national healthcare system.
“I know with great healthcare looks like,” he said. “I drive my kids to it and that's paid by the federal government. Because it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide health care to my children. I don't worry about it. “
Shein argued that healthcare takes up too much of the state budget and says it’s the federal government’s responsibility to fix the current system. He said he would like to see a Medicare for All system or single-payer healthcare.
During the speech, Shein also touched on fighting climate change, supporting public schools and ending tax cuts to multi-national corporations. In a question about how he would work with Republicans, he talked about trying to understand the other side.
“For example with guns, let's figure out the middle ground where people can still ensure their machine guns and they have the right permits,” he said. “And they're not in the hands of disturbed children. And it could be some kind of a common ground there.”
After Friday’s event, Shein held a meet and greet in Anchorage on Saturday. The District 31 Democratic Party also selected delegates.