EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Republican congressional candidate Steven Uccio visited East Brunswick's Sunny Palace restaurant for a fundraiser and campaign kickoff this week.
Uccio picked a location that has hosted many political notables over the past few years including current Democrqtic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Uccio is the Republican Candidate for New Jersey's 12th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman who is also running for re-election.
Characterizing himself as "An Honest Man for America," Uccio is a resident of East Windsor who ran as an Independent/Libertarian for Mercer County Freeholder.
He also ran as a Republican for a position on the East Windsor Township Council.
Defeated in both elections, Uccio says that it is "hard to break in" to local politics. He said that he sees it as his responsibility to participapte in government to make change.
"Our country has a lot of problems," said Uccio who points to the size of the federal budget as overwhelming. "The size and scope of government is too big."
Uccio said he is aware of the problem caused by single-issue voters when "we are a multi-issue people."
However, he is very concerned about the national debt and the issue of gun rights in America.
He is also driven to address the problems that may drain the funds for Social Security so that it may not be available for Americans in the future.
Uccio is a driver for a meat wholesaler in New York City and holds an AA degree from Brookdale Community College in Criminal Justice.
He is married to Jirawan "Jenny" Uccio who is a nursing aide. Their son is 2 1/2-year-old Tenzin.
As a student of criminal justice, Uccio is concerned about the due process of law, especially with regard to gun ownership and "No Fly" and "Watch" lists.
"How do you get put on these lists?" he said. "The way we are doing it now, there's no reiview, no due process."
Uccio asserts that the "No Fly List" is just another example of the overstepping of the federal governemtn into state and personal affairs.
"Be careful about asking the federal government to do things," he said. "More is accomplished by township, county and local organizations with greater accountability."
He said he believes that legal control should "stay small."