John McDonald is arguably the least known among the three candidates on the June primary ballot for the 9th Congressional District seat. He lives in the south end of the district, Mountain House, and hasn't received the financial backing of either Democrat Jerry McNerney or Republican Ricky Gill.
McDonald, also a Republican, is focusing his campaign against Gill, while Gill focuses more on defeating McNerney.
"I think it kind of has to go that way," McDonald said of his campaign against Gill. "Basically, Ricky Gill has to hang his hat on his money. His strong point is that he has a lot of money. I get great support when I go to Republican events."
McDonald admits that he hasn't had a lot of longevity in San Joaquin County, like Gill has.
"I am who I am," McDonald said. "Am I going to pretend I'm a farmer? No. I've lived two and a half years in the district. That's who I am."
Nevertheless, McDonald said he's heard the same complaints about the way the country is run regardless of which locale he visits on his campaign.
McDonald says he's more qualified than Gill because he's been involved in three start-up businesses, is a semiconductor executive and travels to many countries in connection with foreign trade. On the other hand, Gill, who turned 25 on Sunday, has never held a real job, McDonald says.
Congress needs a greater cross-section of office-holders, McDonald said.
"We need CPAs and engineers in office, not lawyers and career politicians," he said.
McDonald says he sees some ways the recession can end.
"One of the things Obama's done is trying to rely on stimulus," he said. "The permitting process is too long to build a factory."
The problem is similar with the new health care plan, McDonald said.
"We must inject lot more of free market," he said. "Insurance companies are so regulated. They need to be free enough to be innovative. When you impose your will on people, you eliminate innovation. When you lack innovation, you don't reduce costs."
So why does McDonald think government is so restrictive?
"I think it's their legal background," he said. "They're not business people and don't understand — the Obama administration and enablers of the administration. I think they want to do what they think is right. They don't want to listen to free-market initiatives."
As much as he believes the Democrats see solutions to America's economic woes incorrectly, McDonald said he'll need to appeal to a section of Democrats in order to win the election.
"The tech workers in the Bay Area are very Democratic, but nearly half my volunteers are Democrats who are fiscal conservatives who have had it with Obama."
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.