“We need to do what we can to help Jim get elected,” said Kane County Democratic Chair Caralee Woods on September 8, when Jim Matheson had a town meeting in Kanab.

Democrat Matheson, who is seeking his fifth term in office as U.S. Congressman from the 2nd District, is facing Republican challenger Morgan Philpot, Constitution Party candidate Randall Hinton, and Independents Dave Glissmeyer and Wayne Hill.

“By way of introduction,” said Matheson in opening remarks, “these are challenging times. This economic recession is the worst since the Depression. Markets do correct, however. The housing market especially got over-valued.”

Matheson cited hopeful indicators of economic recovery. “There are signs that this economy is going in a better direction.”

“There are a lot of real positive stories in Utah,” said Matheson. “I’ve been very motivated with entrepreneurial spirit. We’re on the cusp of remarkable advances in Utah.” He talked specifically about health research at the University of Utah. “I see advances with technology that are exciting in the state.”

In the question and answer session, Kanab resident Jim Henley asked questions concerning Social Security. Matheson replied what most people don’t understand about Social Security is that it is three programs in one - retirement, disability and life insurance. “40% of Social Security does not go to retirees.”

He went on to say the last time Social Security faced a crisis was in 1983, adding the two main political parties use it (Social Security) as a political football. He said President Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil agreed on a remedy at that time, which secured it until 2041. “That’s how long projectionists say that it can exist. A level of correction is needed,” added Matheson, saying it would be prudent to address the issue now.

Vicki Bishop questioned VA benefits, and how rural areas were left behind when trying to access medical care that is entitled to them.

“I’ve been fighting this battle for years,” said Matheson, adding facilitating care and treatment in the proximity of those needing it has been an ongoing challenge with some success.

“The rural west is different than other places. The Veterans Administration has divided the country into VISMS, with healthcare being a difficult issue since there are such massive tracks of land here in between those needing the healthcare and where the large providers are,” said Matheson

• Matheson said he supports extending all tax cuts for two more years.

• Concerning the continual fight between Republican and Democrats in Congress, Matheson said, “People are not happy with the bickering and the polarization. We need to develop relationships on both sides of the aisle.” He said that sometimes does happen, “but when we get along in Congress, you don’t hear about it.”

• “The Constitution is constructed by consensus to get something done.”

• “Our system concerning illegal immigration is not working. We need to create a system that allows guest worker programs in a legal way, and monitor it from that standpoint.”