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Retired Army Reserve Col. John Tilford To Run For 9th District Seat

Last updated on Friday, February 10, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON)(HT) - Retired Army Reserve Col. John Tilford, one of three men vying for the Democratic nomination for the 9th District seat, is not accepting donations or, if elected, considering seeking a second term in office

It's an effort he hopes will help change a Congress he says is characterized by too much extremism and populated by people who aren't truly representative of the general public.

In my mind the House of Representatives should be representative of the citizenry in that district, said the 65-year-old, who did say he may bow to pragmatism and accept donations if he wins the primary.

Tilford submitted a courtesy filing with the Monroe County Clerk's Office Tuesday. The two other men seeking the Democratic nomination, Charlestown resident Robert Winningham and Bedford Air Force Brig. Gen. Jonathan George, made similar filings last week, as did Rep. Todd Young, who is seeking reelection in November.

If elected, Tilford said he will work with politicians on both sides of the aisle and will not vote a straight party line. He was critical of Young for what he said was the sitting congressman's record of voting as Republican leadership would prefer on almost every issue. He said he looks for what is best for the country not party lines.

For example, Tilford would support the breaking up of financial institutions that have been deemed "too big to fail," an idea that he first heard from former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. He plans to introduce that bill if no one else does. He believes it should be a national effort to reform the financial institutions of the U.S. He said Congress as a whole needs to pursue that to avoid what happened in 2007, 2008 from happening again.

Another priority would be introducing legislation to allow members of the military deemed to be 100 percent disabled as a result of their service to be able to obtain free rides on military and contracted commercial flights when space is available, as retired members of the military can do, he said.

He would also seek improvements to the Department of Veterans Affairs' claims process system, which is bogged down in bureaucracy and rife with errors, he said.

He wants to see a system in place similar to what the Internal Revenue Service uses, where mistakes are fed back into the system so they can be corrected. He also wants to crack down on fraudulent VA claims.

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