"Who are you?" I recognize that I am not a household name, and that being known is one of the many systemic advantages that incumbents have in Congress. In fact, largely because of name recognition, incumbents maintain a re-election rate above 90% despite the dissatisfaction of their constituents with their performance (job approval for Congress hovers at or below 20%). While job disapproval is a pretty good reason to consider a non-incumbent candidate for office, it is not a reason to vote for me specifically. Change merely for the sake of change can lead to undesired consequences. That's why I encourage you to look at my bio page, read my personal blog, and meet me at an event -- so that you can get to know me better.
The short answer to the question "Who are you?" is that I am a concerned citizen. I am an engineer. I own my own small (micro) business. I am a husband and a parent. I am a Christian. I am tired of the widespread use of partisan politics to avoid addressing real problems. And I am very concerned about our national debt and the country that we will leave to our children. All of these elements contribute to who I am. It is my goal to introduce myself to you further during the next year and a half; if you would like me to attend an event, please contact me.
"Why are you running?" I am an engineer. I know math and science, and I enjoy studying and solving technical issues. In the fall of 2008, America's financial markets collapsed, and while many pundits were happy to give their analysis, I decided to study the numbers myself. The more I studied, the more concerned I became about America's financial position. Although the TARP bailout, the Fed loans, the stimulus, the deficit spending, and the disregard of the rule of law (e.g., especially for GM bond-holders) may have temporarily assisted the economy, they have put our whole nation at incredible financial risk. Our country's financial experts regularly admit that our current path is "unsustainable," and yet few, if any, of our elected officials have stepped up to take serious action to change our course and put us back on the path to long-term economic stability.
I consider myself fortunate to live in a country where issues such as this can be settled with a simple election; but I am concerned that our debt is putting this freedom in jeopardy. That is why I am wiling to take that same pledge that our Founding Fathers did in the Declaration of Independence: I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to do what I can to preserve our freedoms for the next generation. I hope you will join me in this cause.
"What district are you running in?" Normally, this would be an easy question to answer. However, district boundaries are slated to be redrawn this year, so it's not yet clear which district I'll ultimately end up in. I live in Herndon, which is currently in Virginia's 10th district, represented by Frank Wolf, but I'm also near the 8th district, represented by Jim Moran, and the 11th district, represented by Gerry Connolly. Given that redistricting will likely result in less territory for the 10th district, it is difficult to predict which district I'll end up in. We probably won't know the final district boundaries until the fall. However, since I believe that Frank Wolf, Gerry Connolly, and Jim Moran all need to be replaced, the final district boundaries will not affect my decision to run. And I believe that in order to be effective, I need to start the campaign now.
"Why should I support you?" If you think Congress needs improvement, there's little chance you'll find it from 11- and 16-term incumbents. Frank Wolf has been in office for 30+ years; Jim Moran has been in office for 20+ years. A full 80% of our current national debt has been acquired since Jim Moran was elected, and over 90% since Frank Wolf was first elected; both have repeatedly approved increases to the debt ceiling without providing any plan for repaying it. I realize that a single Congressman cannot dictate the exact solution to our nation's problems, but a single person can help to bring focus and attention to a problem so that it can be fixed. We will not solve this problem by merely blaming a specific party or spending program. We will only solve the problem by accepting the concept of shared sacrifice. I am willing to deliver and act on this difficult message; my opponents have had the same opportunity over the last decades and have consistently neglected to do so.