The 2020 election raised questions and concerns in the minds of voters, ranging from the integrity of electoral procedures to access to the ballot. What election law reforms, if any, would you support to ensure that all Pennsylvania voters have equal access to free, fair, and secure elections?
A person’s right to vote and voting power underlie the fundamental principles of democracy. Any force or factor that diminishes or threatens the sanctity of the electoral process to the point where an individual begins to question the validity of their vote must be urgently and concertedly addressed to protect and save our democracy.
Therefore, I support restoring the principles of the Pennsylvania Constitution regarding mail-in ballots (prior to Law 77) and will support the repeal of Law 77. I will also promote voter identification for all legally qualified voters in Pennsylvania.
How would you position Pennsylvania to be a leader on environmental issues, including climate change?
Environmental issues are multifaceted and the policies that govern them must be guided by scientific facts, humanism, pragmatism, realism and with a perspective on national and global implications. Therefore, I will engage community members, state officials, industry leaders, farmers, and our engineers and scientists to develop sustainable strategies to protect our environment for future generations.
Some states have acted to restrict the rights of transgender people. What is your position on transgender rights?
Gender is biology!
I believe that all human rights should be protected and respected as long as an individual’s actions and activities remain within the boundaries of their birth and biological gender category and do not cross gender lines in a competitive or social framework to give it a competitive edge. advantage or disadvantage or create social discomfort among others of the opposite biological sex group. We also need to be aware of and deal with the myriad of gender-related psychological challenges that many of our children face.
Experts predict the U.S. Supreme Court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade, who established the constitutional right to abortion. It would then be up to Pennsylvania lawmakers to govern the procedure. What is your position on abortion? Should it be protected or restricted?
When the sperm and the egg fuse, it is a point of no return and this is where life begins. Therefore, I do not support abortion. I have spent my life saving lives as a cardiothoracic surgeon. All human life is precious. We must protect and cherish it. God commands us to do this.
What should Pennsylvania’s minimum wage be, now set at $7.25 an hour?
It depends on the economic variables, the market and the labor force. Our economy is in a post-pandemic phase and is experiencing huge flows. Therefore, determining a numerical salary value at this time would be socio-economically unjustified and would represent nothing but political expediency.
What motivates you ? What is an example where your passion and government service have worked hand in hand?
A collective pursuit of excellence fuels my motivation in every engagement of my life. When our government promotes social unity and excellence, people feel more psychologically engaged. Promoting uniformity rather than unity and excellence is destructive to individual motivation and social productivity.
What, if anything, would you do to reform Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system? Would you support the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults?
I am a scientist with a doctorate and a doctor. Therefore, I am naturally inclined to avoid politically expedient quick fixes to problems and prefer to tackle the root causes of problems in order to achieve lasting solutions. This is exactly the approach that society needs and that I will use to approach the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania. The social determinants of crime, especially among poor, disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged communities, must be addressed before our criminal justice system can achieve lasting improvements and results.
I would support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes only.
What are the limits of political rhetoric? What duty do elected leaders have to speak honestly and provide factual information to voters?
People are tired of the lies and empty promises of some politicians. Elected leaders have a moral responsibility to be truthful and to serve at the highest level of excellence. Their primary motivation and commitment must be to those they serve. As a surgeon, every decision I’ve made throughout my career has depended on what’s in the best interest of the people I serve. All communications from servant leaders must be transparent, truthful and grounded in reality, social and scientific facts. Any other form of communication is self-serving and betrays the people’s trust in their leaders.
Nche Zama is a cardiothoracic surgeon who trained at the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a Masters in Management from Harvard. He is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in the May 17 primary.