Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 48

Photo of Hans Keirstead

Hans Keirstead

29,974 votes (17.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • I have spent my entire life working in the science, medicine, and healthcare sectors. My position on healthcare stems from the philosophy that it's a basic human right. I propose: medical records reform, pricing transparency and cutting drug costs.
  • I will work to end the subsidies and close the loopholes that currently favor the fossil fuel industry. Investing in clean energy is the key to our energy independence and will create well-paying domestic jobs which benefits the economy & environment
  • As an immigrant myself who struggled to come to this country, comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship will be one of my priorities if elected to Congress. I support DACA/DAPA.



CEO, AIVITA Biomedical (2016–current)
Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UC Irvine (2011–2014)


University of Cambridge, England Postdoctoral Study, Neurobiology (1999)
University of British Columbia, Canada PhD, Neurobiology (1994)
University of British Columbia, Canada Bachelor of Science, Cell Biology (1990)


A husband, father, scientist, and Orange County business leader, Dr. Hans Keirstead is one of the world’s leading innovators in stem cell research and medical treatments.

Raised on a farm by a single mother, Hans has been working to help support his family since the age of nine. Times were not always easy for them, and there were days he would come home unsure if there would be dinner for him and his family. Hans understands firsthand the struggles many hard-working Americans face today. He is eager to have the opportunity to use his work ethic in Washington, DC and help the people of Orange County achieve their piece of the American Dream.

Inspired by his parents to help others, Hans went to college to become a physician but soon shifted to research. His aim was to develop more effective treatments to save and improve lives. He served for 15 years as Professor of Anatomy at UCI and led therapy breakthroughs for late-stage cancers, ALS and spinal cord injury.

Hans has successfully launched multiple medical research companies in Orange County and is currently CEO at AIVITA Biomedical, where he is focusing on developing a cancer treatment that is proving to be the most effective treatment for cancer that has ever reached the final phase of clinical trials.

He has advised several members of Congress and U.S. Senators on healthcare and biotechnology. When then President George W. Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Hans stepped up to help fill the void. Serving as lead scientific advisor for the California Stem Cell Initiative (Proposition 71), he toured the state to promote the ballot measure. He spoke to hospital leadership, unions, professors, doctors, nurses, and activists.Passing with nearly 60% of the vote, Proposition 71,  established a $3 billion stem cell research fund to support medical innovation in California.

Hans’ wife, Nikiis a leading neuroscientist focused on Alzheimer’s disease. Hans, Niki, and their son, Connor, are proud to call Laguna Beach their home. In his spare time, Hans enjoys playing guitar and practicing martial arts with Connor.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (5)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Hans Keirstead:

I believe that we need a broad array of short-term strategies and long-term policy reforms to build and maintain a strong system of infrastructure that supports sustained and broad-based economic growth. In the short term, I believe that Congress and Department of Transportation should design competitive and financially innovative programs, and then Congress should appropriate enough funding to execute them. For example, Congress should increase appropriations for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, which pumped billions of dollars into a range of multimodal projects nationally. In addition, we should consider reinstating the Build America Bonds program and exempt private activity bonds from the alternative minimum tax; this could leverage low interest rates and tax advantages to promote investment in economically critical infrastructure projects. 

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
Answer from Hans Keirstead:

I have spent my entire life working in the science, medicine, and healthcare sectors. All my policy positions on healthcare stem from the philosophy that healthcare is a basic human right and one that was included when our nation’s forefathers founded this country with the unalienable rights of our citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The most logical system that supports that philosophy is Medicare For All – but in order to achieve this, we need to improve upon our current healthcare system. I propose three major reforms that we can do in the short-term to help accomplish this goal:

  1. Pricing Transparency. Healthcare providers have no responsibility to inform patients of the pricing options of their healthcare – this needs to change. Providing patients with pricing options will drive down the cost of premiums and cut medical bill costs.
  2. Medical Records Reforms. The average American will change their healthcare coverage 8-10 times during their lifetime. Requiring all companies to use the same medical records data systems will streamline the transfer of information between insurance companies and remove the need for doctors to require costly reexaminations of patients, leading to lower costs and lower premiums.
  3. Cutting Prescription Drug Costs. We must allow prescription drugs to be sold in the U.S. from countries like Canada and crack down on any price-gouging tactics that drug companies use. Additionally, we need to remove any delays for generic versions of drugs. I am not afraid of taking on drug companies and I will fight to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

If we focus on these short-term goals that will streamline the system we already have, drive down costs, and increase access it will create a stronger argument for the American public to support Medicare For All. 

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House.
Answer from Hans Keirstead:

As an immigrant myself who struggled to come to this country, comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship will be my priority if elected to Congress. I have made a career and life doing what I love, helping others, and providing for my family. 

It is important to remember what is truly at stake: the quality of life of the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently living in this country. In a nation built by immigrants, we must celebrate our diversity, and recognize that this is a family values issue. To me, this means that everyone in this country should have a chance at the American Dream. We should not tear families apart. I support DACA/DAPA.

For too long, politicians in Washington have been caught up in partisan bickering and unable to find compromise on an issue that, if fixed correctly, can support families, the economy, and secure our borders — while maintaining the ideals that make America a symbol of freedom to the world.

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of Californians and the federal water project infrastructure in California?
Answer from Hans Keirstead:

We must alleviate the struggle for our community. We must balance our water needs with environmental protection. I am in favor of conservation and reuse.  In addition, the OC Water District has an internationally recognized program called the OC Groundwater Replenishment System that takes highly treated wastewater that would have been put in the ocean and purifies it.  The result is high-quality drinking water.  We have the technology, and implementing these innovative system will also help create jobs. I would like to see programs like this implemented all over the country.

Question 5

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $2,084,482

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Hans Keirstead
Employees of Girardi and Keese
Employees of 4g Ventures
Employees of Andrews Thornton Higgins Razmara Llp
Employees of Jeff Anderson & Associates
Employees of Krisco Sales
Employees of Skikos Crawford Skikos & Joseph

More information about contributions

By State:

California 90.27%
New York 2.16%
District of Columbia 1.50%
Colorado 1.12%
Other 4.95%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.00%)
Small contributions (7.00%)

By Type:

From organizations (1.80%)
From individuals (98.20%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Videos (2)

— April 22, 2018 CNN
— April 22, 2018 Campaign

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