Commercial Dispatch - Opthalmologist wants to be ‘servant leader' in 1st District - A desire to work for the people with a “servant leadership attitude” drives an Oxford ophthalmologist, Dr. Randy Russell, in seeking the Republican nomination for the 1st District Congressional seat vacated by Roger Wicker.
“I want to fight for moral principles,” he told The Dispatch editorial board Thursday, noting he advocates a “traditional two-parent family,” and is “pro-life.”
A resident of Lafayette County, who also practices in Southaven, Russell and his wife, Amy, have a son and a daughter, who both attend the University of Mississippi.
Additionally, the Russells have been volunteer foster parents to more than 89 newborn babies, waiting for permanent placement.
“I'm the clear conservative choice,” he said. “We are social and economic conservatives.”
“I don't think we should withdraw troops without a specific strategy that secures gains made on the ground,” he said of the war in Iraq, suggesting publicizing timetables for withdrawal only “assists the enemy.”
Regarding the economic stimulus plan of Congress and President George W. Bush, he said the offered “direct tax rebates are going to be of short and limited effect.”
To make the cost of health care more affordable, Russell suggested “tax reforms and insurance reforms.”
“The Democrats want to take us toward a socialized system,” he said. “No one will be happy. We've got the greatest health care system in the world; we don't need to put government between physicians and their patients.”
And he emphasized a need to “transition younger workers to taxpayer owned retirement accounts,” in response to potential insolvency of the Social Security fund.
“The Social Security fund was devised by politicians who couldn't foresee Americans' life spans would increase,” he explained. “You can't predict what the future will hold, so everyone should own their own retirement account.”
“We need to be very careful about bringing home the bacon because everyone in the country wants to do that,” he added. “(We must) be very careful about building bridges to nowhere. Mississippi (should work to) be the best place in the country for private investment.”
“We've got the technological and material ability to stop people from coming across the border,” he said. “We just haven't had the political will. I want to be part of that process that makes it happen."
Defending the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - which states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” - also is a high priority for Russell.
“It protects all other amendments,” he said of the Second Amendment, noting the U.S. needs a “strong military.”
“I want us to continue to have the strongest military power in the world,” he elaborated. “Democrats in Congress have tried to shackle our intelligence agencies. We will suffer more terrorist attacks I think can be prevented, if we let the intelligence agencies do their jobs.”
Russell, 54, concluded by characterizing himself as holding a “low tax, limited government philosophy.”