Last updated: August 25. 2013 11:27PM - 3516 Views
ANDREW M. SEDER aseder@timesleader.com

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AGE: 36

RESIDES: Wind Gap, though he was born and raised in Clinton, N.J.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Pen Argyl High School in 1995 and received a professional pilot certificate in 1988 after attending Northamtpon Community College and Lehigh-Carbon Community College.

FAMILY: Wife Lori and three children, ages 11, 9 and 4.

CAREER: Has been a pilot for a private charter company for seven years.

PARTY: Republican

Matthew Dietz, a pilot, is used to taking off and aiming high. The 36-year-old from Northampton County has decided to make his first foray into politics a bid for Congress.

Dietz, a father of three from Wind Gap, will seek the Republican nomination for the state’s 17th Congressional District that represents portions of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Carbon, Northampton and Monroe counties and all of Schuylkill County. Dr. David Moylan, the coroner in Schuylkill County, has also announced he’ll be seeking the Republican nod.

Whoever comes out on top in next spring’s GOP primary will face U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, D-Moosic, next November. The two Republicans have pledged to focus their campaigns on themselves and defeating Cartwright, rather than attacking each other.

While Moylan and Dietz have met and discussed their goals, Dietz said he is focusing more on fiscal issues while Moylan’s top of the platform issues are his anti-abortion stance and his protection of the Second Amendment.

Dietz said that while he does share Moylan’s concerns over those two issues, for him, the driving factor to get into the race was the future of his children and future generations in America.

“Our county’s at a crossroads,” said Dietz, who works as a pilot for LR Services Inc., a charter operator at the Lehigh Valley International Airport. “We can control our debt. I know we can do better, and that’s why I decided to run for Congress.”

He said that even though the 17th District was redrawn to give a clear registration advantage to Democrats, he believes the issues at hand cross party lines and he’s hoping Democrats and Independents agree with his platform and his solutions and overlook the “R” next to his name.

“We need to create jobs, family-sustaining jobs” in order to right this country, Dietz said. That means supporting small businesses by simplifying tax codes and other means. “We need to empower small businesses to grow and expand,” he added.

Dietz said he pledges not to participate in the government’s publicly funded pension program if elected and would support a “no budget, no pay” bill to ensure Congress approves a bill each session.He also said he supports a full repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act, known as Obamacare.

With an appointed term on the Wind Gap Park Board as his only government-related background on his resume, Dietz said he believes he can make the most difference on the country’s future by being elected to Congress.

Noting his three children with wife Lori, sons ages 11 and 9 and a daughter who’s 4, he said the time is now to start making changes to give them the best shot of a debt-free future.

“Our debt is really going to constrain their opportunities going forward,” Dietz said.

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