Nick Rubando is running in the primary on March 17 to become the Democrat’s nominee for the 5th congressional district.

Rubando laid out the top three issues he is focused on: health care, environmental justice and taking wealthy donor money out of politics.

“Top three issues are, ensuring that we can have health care for every single citizen here in Ohio’s 5th district, as well as throughout the country,” Rubando said. “Next is environmental justice, really ensuring that we clean up Lake Erie, specifically the drinking water here in Northwest Ohio.”

Those issues would be dependent on the third issue, dealing with the money in politics.

“The third issue is ensuring that we get big money out of politics. I don’t think we can do any of those first things until we get the big money out of politics and ensure that special interests are not the ones making the laws,” Rubando said. “You can draw a direct line to bills that are being passed because of the amount of money being spent on them. It should be that the bills that are the most popular with the American people are the ones being passed.”

He wants to overturn Citizens United ruling, with a Constitutional Amendment. That case, against the Federal Election Commission expanded the rights of corporations and unions and the organization’s ability to spend money in political campaigns.

He is also aware of both the urban and rural constituencies in the district, which figure into his health care stance.

“I think we need a neutral single-payer system,” Rubando said. “I’ve talked to a lot of health care providers and healthcare professionals and they say that they could save 50% of their costs each year if people just invested in preventive care. That’s just going to the doctor when you feel sick.”

He believes that it affects people rural areas the most, because it may be more than an hour drive to see a doctor, which could translate into a lost day of work, as well as a co-pay.

“That could be fine for a while, but if they keep putting it off, the cost could be astronomical if they find out that they had cancer. So that’s just investing in preventive care, which I think is extremely important and I think a single payer health care system would help enact that,” Rubando said.

Other issues are outlined on his website, including tax reform, immigration, reproductive freedom and tariffs.

Rubando grew up in Holland and went on to receive a degree in journalism from Indiana University.

In high school, he had the opportunity to travel abroad. Rubando said that the service work he did opened his eyes to some of the injustices in under-served communities both domestically and world-wide.

He works for a tech start-up, which has allowed him to do volunteer work campaigning for issues like environmental cleanups, children’s art programs, and low-income families in need. In electoral politics he has worked as a volunteer for a congressional candidate in California and on the Obama 2008 campaign.

More information on the Rubando campaign can be found at nickrubando.com

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