Christopher Peters

2nd District Republican U.S. Congressional Candidate Chris Peters gestures during a sit-down interview with the Daily Iowan at the Coralville Public Library on Monday, October 10, 2016. Chris Peters announced he chose not to endorse Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump in a press release this morning. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

2nd District Republican U.S. Congressional Candidate Chris Peters gestures during a sit-down interview with the Daily Iowan at the Coralville Public Library on Monday, October 10, 2016. Chris Peters announced he chose not to endorse Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump in a press release this morning. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

By Maria Curi | maria-curi@uiowa.edu

Christopher Peters may be running on the Republican ticket, but throughout his campaign, his approach has been that of an independent.

“I’m not a doctrinarian; I don’t take boilerplate answers and make them my view,” Peters said in an interview with The Daily Iowan. “I look at every issue and try to understand it as best I can with the facts that are available.”

Christopher Peters Age: 56 Hometown: Lawrence, KS Education: Medical degree from the University of Kansas Family: Wife Julie and three sons

Christopher Peters
Age: 56
Hometown: Lawrence, KS
Education: Medical degree from the University of Kansas
Family: Wife Julie and three sons

The surgeon is libertarian-minded and originally thought about running for office as an independent, but after meeting with Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, and Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Peters decided to run as a Republican.

For Peters, the hurdle that comes with running as a Republican is that people will assume what his views are — a problem, he said, that also applies to Democrats. To avoid misinterpretations, Peters prioritizes fully explaining issues because, he said, if members of the public want to make informed decisions, they need to understand what’s going on.   

“I think it’s a weakness of policymakers to not communicate the true nature of problems and thereby justify their proposed solution,” Peters said. “It’s just like medicine. You can’t provide a cure until you have an accurate diagnosis. A good physician will make sure not only they understand the illness but that the patient understands it, too.”

Peters’ wife, Julie Peters, said that at first, she was unsure how the campaign would go but quickly learned that the run would be worth it.

“I became extremely inspired at how he was able to go up to Democrats and bridge that gap, she said. “It has been character-building running as a Republican in Johnson County, and when I knock on doors, I say he’s running a very nonpartisan, issue-oriented campaign,” she said.

As an owner and operator of a local surgical clinic, Peters said he understands the importance of policies that support small businesses, and he said leaving future generations with a better economy is his main priority.