EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 6, 2013

Methuen man plans GOP challenge to Tsongas in 2014

METHUEN — A Methuen man has already filed papers forming his campaign committee to challenge Congresswoman Niki Tsongas in 2014 as a Republican.

Timothy Imholt, 41, sent his campaign papers to federal election officials just six weeks after the 2012 election wrapped up and before the winners were even sworn in for their new terms.

Imholt, a physicist who works for Raytheon and Army veteran, said he filed so early to take the deliberative approach he takes in his professional life to coming up with policy ideas and to campaigning and governing.

“I am a scientist. We don’t do things that aren’t well planned,” he said. “Planning, organizing and doing things exactly right, with high precision, implies you have to allow yourself ample time to work. Research is important and that takes time. This country is facing huge problems, and anyone who thinks they can just solve all the problems facing this country without an enormous amount of preparation is incorrect.”

Social Security is an issue he said neither party has the only right answer. Imholt said the answers for ballooning Social Security outlays, which many fear will outstrip payroll tax revenue and deplete the trust reserve as the baby boomer generation retires, are bigger than the bumper stickers and sound bytes the parties usually issue.

“Social Security is going to become the biggest or one of the biggest budget items,” he said. “You’ve got to fix it. One side says expand benefits; the other side says privatize. Neither of those work. We’ve got to find something in the middle that works.”

Imholt plans to spend the next six to 12 months fleshing out his ideas and formulating some solutions to issues like immigration, housing and the economic climate.

He likes ideas from both parties, but leans Republican because of its small-government mindset when thinking about national issues.

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