Coronadan Fred Simon had been thinking about running as a Republican candidate for Congress representing the 52nd district for a number of years, then last summer he thought the time was right. The 52nd district encompasses the area of Coronado, downtown, Del Mar Heights, Carmel Valley, Mira Mesa, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, San Carlos, Tierrasanta and University City.
“I’m just a citizen in this town like anyone else. I’ve chosen a job that is more high profile,” said Simon. Simon has three children which range in age from 11 to 16 who attend Coronado schools. Over the years Simon has been involved in the community with the Coronado Schools Foundation and coaching baseball. His wife Maria is a member of the Coronado School Board. “I strongly believe in public education with the rights to options,” he said. Simon is a proponent of trade and vocational schools to give another venue to teens who do not go to college. He also does not believe in entitlements. One of the tenets of his candidacy is to empower people from an educational standpoint, he said. “ Entitlements are not a good thing. They degrade the spirit,” he said.
Simon is a trauma surgeon and businessman. He works at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas and manages a surgical hospitalist group which consist of a number of surgeons who cover calls on a 24-hour basis. He also puts together physicians groups like his outside of San Diego. Simon also owns a healthcare consulting firm.
Simon is originally from the Boston area and moved to Indiana in his teens. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loma Linda University and his medical degree from Creighton University, finishing his training as a surgeon in the Boston area.
After medical school he worked at a Navajo Reservation. Simon has worked with Locum Tenens, a staffing service that provides physicians to rural areas or small towns from all over the U.S. He worked as a Locum Tenens physician in places like Martha’s Vineyards and Goodin, Idaho both as a general surgeon and an emergency room physician. “Without question the healthcare is different in different parts [of the U.S.] and I got a good national view not only at the local level but in over 12 states,” he explained.
Another issue Simon strongly believes in is that the federal government needs to help at the local level. “We need to encourage the legislators to send more money down to the community level. Encourage money to go to local communities where it is most effective and properly used. Let the local communities use the money as fit. They know best,” he said. “My reason for getting involved is to be a voice for communities and someone out there to empower the 52nd district.”
“I’m not connected to the Washington elite insiders and don’t want to be. It’s about people at the local level getting what they deserve,” he said.
Simon, 61, grew up with exposure to people who were less fortunate or in difficult circumstances. He has been involved both in Big Brother, Big Sister and the Boys’ Club. He attributes his love for giving back to his father. “I grew up with a father who was always interested in people succeeding,” he said.
Simon filed his candidacy papers last August and announced his candidacy in October. He is now campaigning by going door to door to meet voters and ask for their support. “Up in North County I got a positive response. People are happy to interact directly with a candidate. I’m open to anybody’s questions about anything,” he said. Simon has also attended many community meetings and events. “I’m earning the trust of he community,” he said. “The more exposure and name recognition, the more spontaneous contributions.” Simon has used $400,000 of his own money to fund his campaign. He has two consultants and a public relations person on his staff. They meet once a week for strategic planning sessions. Simon plans to be on radio stations promoting his candidacy in the near future. This month he is stepping up his visibility with signs on lawns and more media exposure. Simon also plans to go door to door in Coronado, as he has done in other communities, to get to know local residents.
Simon has been a hard worker since he was a child. He started working at 10 years old mowing laws. As an adult he has been known to log in 100 hours of work per week. “I believe in hard work, perseverance and taking responsibility. That’s my campaign that’s been my life for 40 years,” he said.
Simon is gearing up for the primaries that will be on June 3, 2014. “I’m going out there and raise the 52nd district’s voice, get people a more vociferous reaction to this incompetent federal bureaucracy,” he said. “I want to start a chain reaction district by district, a grass root movement. Everybody’s quiet, scared, depleted … there’s voter’s fatigue. I want to know you and hear from you,” he said about the voters in his district.
For more information on Simon visit his facebook page and his website www.fredsimonforcongress.com