Democrat Joe Mackey wants rural America to have a seat at the table

Early voting is underway across the country. On the ballot for Indiana’s 4th congressional district are Republican incumbent Jim Baird and the Democratic challenger, Joe Mackey. RFD-TV’s Emily Buck joined the candidates for a closer look at their policy goals for rural America.

Democratic candidate Joe Mackey hopes to earn a spot representing the 4th congressional district of Indiana. He says that he has been listening to the concerns of farmers during his campaign.

“This is what farmers are telling me, ‘let farmers farm,’ and I understand that we can overregulate where farming is concerned,” Mackey states. “So, we are out to, of course, protect our farming markets, not just in my district and across the state of Indiana, but around the country.”

Mackey comes from a manufacturing background and says that automation could be a long-term solution for packing plants and other agricultural industries. He also thinks diversification could help farmers better weather challenging markets.

He states, “I would also like to see farmers be able to diversify into other crop products, and I know there are some hindrances there that I think we can address.”

He says that trade with China is important for both ag and manufacturing, and says that cooperation with U.S. trading partners is needed to hold China accountable.

According to Mackey, “Enforcement is a critical issue and I think that’s going to take a global effort on the part of our long-time trading partners, in unison, sitting down and laying out our expectations for trade with China.”

He states that the communities he has visited often feel ignored and he hopes to call more attention to rural issues.

“I think it’s time we lose the term ‘flyover states’,” he notes. “We aren’t flyover states we are American states, we’re American communities, we are part of the American fabric, the family, and we should have our seat at the table.”

Mackey and his wife lost two children to pediatric cancers; the experience has made him passionate about maternal and child healthcare reform.

“In 2017 alone, the 4th congressional district in the great state of Indiana accounted for 46 percent of the infant mortality deaths. These are infants who died of medically treatable illnesses,” Mackey adds. “This speaks to a real issue. We must be able to provide basic healthcare to our rural women and children, and that’s not being done today.”

He says that the coronavirus has created even more inequality on healthcare and education and deepened the divide between urban and rural communities.

For the full interview click HERE.

For more election coverage, click HERE.