Sean Bielat gained 25,000 more votes than the last Republican to run for Congress in Massachusetts's Fourth Congressional District when he challenged liberal icon Rep. Barney Frank in 2010. With Frank retiring, Bielat is running for the seat once again this year, but now against an even bigger name in Bay State politics: Kennedy.
Bielat, an Ivy-educated businessman and Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is now facing Joseph P. Kennedy III; a 31-year-old Harvard law grad with three years experience as an Assistant District Attorney for the Cape and Islands then Middlesex County. Kennedy is the son of former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. While he lacks the same name recognition as his opponent, Bielat tells TheBlaze Senior Contributor Mallory Factor that he has the experience and campaign ground game to win.
"I'm somebody who wants to take on some of the bigger challenges we face, that happen to be based in my district," Bielat told Factor in an exclusive interview at TheBlaze's New York City newsroom this week.
"I'm just running against a name right now, this guy has three years of work experience."
While Kennedy may have been able to gain a six-to-one fundraising advantage thanks to his name recognition that appears to have led to a speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention and fundraisers in Beverly Hills, Beilat believes he will win on small dollar donations.
Bielat tells TheBlaze that he is running for Congress because he is concerned about a number of issues, including job creation and fiscal discipline. Bielat believes we can gain and sustain economic growth by providing tax relief in the near term, and policy reform in the long term to keep down deficits. The Republican candidate is a fan of the flat tax, and would advocate lowering tax rates to corporate and personal income taxes; including the tax rate for top income earners.
"Lower them all. The more money we can give back to people the better off we will be," Beilat tells TheBlaze. Beilat admits that this policy will increase deficits in the near term, but is something we have to accept in order to achieve long term reform.
"We can't simultaneously reduce the deficit and put money into the economy. As soon as job growth starts to turn around, that's when we go hard after the deficit, that's when we go hard after entitlement reform, that's when we go hard after discretionary spending."
Beilat supports gradually raising the age of retirement for Social Security, block granting Medicaid to states, and believes the Medicare reforms in Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan are a good starting point.
"Whenever somebody goes after me for supporting Paul Ryan I say, 'O.K. great, so what do you think we should do?' and the answer is always crickets," Beilat tells TheBlaze. Beilat says he supports the competitive dynamics and choices Paul Ryan's plan presents.
When it comes to foreign policy, Beilat tells TheBlaze that he would support working closely with Israel on issues concerning Iran's nuclear program. Beilat believes we should keep a light infantry presence in Afghanistan to ensure that terrorist groups are not hosted in the region, but is against "nation-building" efforts.
Watch Massachusetts congressional candidate Sean Beilat's full interview with TheBlaze below: