Birthdate: Aug. 18, 1960
Birth Place: Canton, OH, United States
Residence: Canton, OH
Joyce Healy-Abrams was born and raised in Canton, Ohio, where she currently resides. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor's degree at Capital University and a master's degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University.
Healy-Abrams is the daughter of longtime state Rep. William J. Healy and sister of Canton Mayor William J. "Jamey" Healy II.
She lived for about 20 years in the Columbus area, where she and her husband Jeff, ran and eventually sold their 20-person records and file management business.
Healy-Abrams has two children and four stepchildren.
Joyce Healy-Abrams hasn't previously held elected office but said she decided to run for Ohio's 7th Congressional District seat because she was frustrated by a lack of progress and cooperation in Congress.
"I feel like Congress is broken," she said. "We're in a period of time in our history where we need to be stepping up the pace, not going backward and being dysfunctional."
Her first priority is creating jobs, especially those that pay well and are in small businesses or emerging industries, and she supports tax credits for high-end manufacturing and new technologies. She said she wants to create legislation that makes it easier for businesses to have access to capital and credit.
She said the federal government should spend tax money on U.S. products when possible. She also believes tax breaks for large corporations and the richest taxpayers should be reduced.
Healy-Abrams said owning a small business taught her the importance of responsible budgeting, but she opposes trying to balance the books by privatizing programs such as Social Security. She supports preserving the benefits issued through programs such as Medicare while working to lower drug costs and ensure patients' access to quality health care.
"I don't want to shift the burden onto the middle class by taking the government guarantees away from these particular programs," she said.
She believes all residents deserve access to affordable health care, but she believes the 2010 health care reform bill didn't do enough to help families and small businesses. She supports allowing children to remain on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26 and banning insurers from denying coverage for children with preexisting conditions.
If elected, she promised to help change student loans to reduce students' financial burdens and increase access to tuition tax credits. She also vowed to defend funding for early education, cancer research and housing for veterans.
She said there's too much disrespectful discourse in Washington.
"We need to move above that to be able to improve our economy and our country," she said. "I think that we need to change the dialogue in Washington, because when we change the dialogue, we change the outcome."
Source: Associated Press