What’s the best part of being an independent candidate?
The best part of being an independent candidate is that I can represent all of my constituents, not just those who belong to my party. The pressure to vote according to a party platform is much less, so I can do not only what I think is best, but I can cast votes to make sure all of my constituents feel represented.
What are the core principle(s) you use as an independent?
My core principles are the core ideals our nation has traditionally strived to achieve, including liberty, equality, rights and justice, and opportunity, as well as transparency and ethics. I believe that we are all entitled to equal treatment before the law and by our government. We are entitled to our unalienable rights, and these rights must be protected. Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve his or her own American dream and be able to improve his or her own status or place in life. I believe we need to hold our elected officials to the highest ethical standards, and we need as much transparency as possible to ensure that this is the case.
Why do you think we need to elect more centrist independents today?
I think we need to elect more centrist independents because it will make it easier for us as a nation to make lasting progress. In today’s political climate, the party in power tries to impose its will over the objections of the other party, which is united in opposition. As a result we see very little progress, especially when one party does not control the whole government. That which does get accomplished, is promptly undone when the other party eventually attains a position of power. With more centrist independents in elected office, it will be easier to create legislation with input from both sides, creating solutions with buy-in from all, so we can move forward and make progress, rather than constantly going back and forth.
Why did you decide to run for office?
I decided to run for office because I have had an interest in history and politics for a long time now, and became very disturbed by the current state of divisiveness in our country. The seed of returning to public service was planted while reading the Federalist Papers, and with the encouragement of friends and family, I decided to take on the challenge of making changes on Capitol Hill and to challenge the status quo.
What is your favorite memory from your time as a public servant?
My favorite memory from my time as a public servant was from my time deployed in Iraq as an infantryman in the US Marine Corps. When Iraq had their first elections in January of 2005, our area wasn’t going to get to vote because it was considered to be too dangerous. We were able to secure the area enough for them to hold elections, and we had a very high voter turnout, despite the occasional rocket fired. Granting these people who had been oppressed for so long the right to vote, and then their willingness to risk death to do something that we in America often take for granted was a very moving experience for me.
What is the greatest threat facing the nation neither party is willing to address?
The greatest threat facing our nation that neither party is willing to address is our national debt. Our national debt is higher than our GDP. We pay hundreds of billions every year just in interest. The higher we let our national debt climb, the harder it will be to balance the budget, the more it will affect our economy, the more vulnerable we will be to foreign investors, and the harder it will be for us to find funding for things that come up in addition to our annual expenses, such as disaster relief, infrastructure projects, or to react to an economic downturn. Both parties want the other party to cut spending on their priorities, but aren’t willing to cut spending on their own priorities.