Dowagiac nurse opposing Fred Upton in republican primary election

Provided Photo

Provided Photo

One life lesson that Jim Bussler’s parents taught him has driven the majority of the big decisions in his life, from his choice to become a nurse to his decision to run against Fred Upton in the 6th district congressional republican primary.

The message was simple: If you see a need, fill it.

Bussler, a lifelong Dowagiac native, said that his main focus as a congressman is to fill the needs of everyday people instead of the needs of large businesses dependent on crony capitalism to exist, as he says his opponent focuses on.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and I support them wholeheartedly and will work to the best of my ability to level the playing field for them and for individuals,” he said.

A registered nurse at Lakeland Regional Healthcare, Bussler used his medical experience to explain what he believes is the primary issue with the political system in the United States.

“If you go to a doctor and you have an abscess on your arm or something like that, an inexperienced doctor might give you an antibiotic and a Band-Aid and send you home,” he said.

“The problem is that you’re going to be back again, and the infection’s going to get worse and the cyst is going to be bigger. Then finally you run into somebody that knows what they’re doing, and they know that the only way to treat that is to take a scalpel and cut it open and let the infection come out.”

In his analogy, Bussler said the inexperienced doctor is his opponent, Fred Upton and the abscess is the United States government.

Bussler cited many issues he is passionate about, including the three core principles that his campaign focuses on: monitoring sound money, having a more limited government and protecting individual liberties.

He said that the government has a tendency of throwing money on problems (“symptoms”) in attempt to improve them, rather than digging in to find the source of the problem.

“America is supposed to be a capitalist country, not a crony capitalist country. If you start a business and you take some risks and your business fails, well that’s part of the process,” Bussler said.

Bussler said his political experience is limited to his days “reeking havoc” when his father, Dean Bussler, served as 3rd district county commissioner, with the exception of preparing for the congressional race for about a year and a half.

“I’m not saying it’s not going to be hard to overcome the amount of money that Fred has. What people need to understand is that that’s not his money. That’s money that he’s gotten in payments from the corporation that he represents,” Bussler said.

Bussler said he has been out knocking on doors since he announced candidacy Sept. 17 at the Wounded Minnow in Dowagiac.  He said he has found that many Dowagiac citizens take issue with Congressman Upton’s actions throughout his career.

“We’re way worse off because of the things that he’s done. And I get that from the community. I’ll be honest. I’m encouraged every day.”

As a nurse, Bussler takes issue with the Affordable Care Act, and says if given the chance, he would have voted against the bill.

“I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned reading over these laws. Usually whatever they’re called, it’s actually the opposite,” Bussler said. “It’s definitely not affordable. It’s the biggest and largest tax increase on the American people ever.”

Bussler takes issue with the fact that because of the Affordable Healthcare Act, the IRS will gain access to all medical records, items that were previously confidential between patients and their doctors.

“At least in the old system you had a good chance of having one of the best doctors or practitioners take care of you because of the way that system worked. Now, the only people that are going to be able to afford top notch physicians in certain areas, it’s going to limit people to who has the cash to pay for it,” Bussler said.

Bussler is also pro-life in every sense of the term, opposing abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. He also opposes welfare for businesses and able-bodied adults and believes the government should not be able to tap phone lines and Internet conversations in order to monitor conversations.

Bussler is a lifelong resident of Dowagiac and graduate of Dowagiac Union Schools and Southwestern Michigan College.

More information regarding Bussler’s campaign can be found on his website,, or on his Facebook page,



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