3rd Republican challenges Peters for congressional seat

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Dr. James Veltmeyer said Mondy his experiences as an immigrant who overcame poverty makes him the representative in Congress “the voters of the 52nd District deserve.”

Veltmeyer, a family physician and surgeon who lives in La Jolla, on Saturday became the third Republican to announce he is challenging Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego.

“I am running because the voters of the 52nd District deserve a representative in Congress who has actually experienced the same problems and challenges they have faced in their lives, whether poverty, homelessness, lack of access to health care, lack of economic opportunity and the like,” Veltmeyer told City News Service.

“Having met and overcome these obstacles myself to achieve the American dream, I am in the best position to advocate for my fellow San Diegans who see themselves falling through the cracks and locked in the dark basement of despair, poverty, and hopelessness.”

Former U.S. Army Sgt. Danny Casara and Army Reserve lawyer Omar Qudrat announced their candidacies earlier.

Drew Godinich, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the official campaign arm of  the Democrats in the House of Representatives, called Peters “one the most highly regarded members of Congress.”

“He’s been re-elected twice … because San Diegans know he works with everyone to solve problems and get things done,” Godinich said.

According to biographical information supplied by his campaign, Veltmeyer’s family became homeless when his father abandoned his mother and siblings. He was 11 years old when his mother decided to send him from Ecuador to live with an aunt in the United States.

Following a two-year effort to obtain a visa, his aunt was able to bring Veltmeyer to live with her in El Cajon.

“To address the problems of people, you need to have lived them,” Veltmeyer said. “As an immigrant to America, I know what we need to do to ensure that we can remain a welcoming nation while enforcing our immigration laws, maintaining the living standards of less-skilled American workers, and protecting our national security.

“Growing up in poverty, I know the solution doesn’t come from policies that simply subsidize the problem and make it worse. The same with homelessness. It won’t be solved by more government spending or handouts, but by getting the homeless into jobs and classrooms.”

Veltmeyer promised voters of the district, which includes Coronado, La Jolla, Point Loma, Poway and Rancho Bernardo, “to work from day one to bring about the true reform of our health care system that can make quality care available and accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay,” and “work to achieve tax reform that makes our economy competitive again, school choice that gives parents back the right to educate their children as they desire, end a failed college loan system which is imposing unacceptable burdens on our youth, protect our borders so that we don’t need to fight endless wars overseas and safeguard our environment without destroying jobs in the process.”