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Friday, November 09, 2007

The only way that I'll run for U.S. House

Long story short: A lot has happened since I first posted about this. Some people that I know and respect plenty made me think about some things.

There is only one way that I could possibly run for U.S. House of Representatives right now, at this point in my life.

And the only reason why I'm even posting this much, is that maybe one person out there will see this and run, really run, wherever they are. Someone who not only has the principles and the desire to serve others, but could also give this thing the commitment it deserves.

I honestly don't know if I could offer up that last one.

I'll admit it: I'm struggling with a bit right now. Some things in my personal situation could stand to be better. I am not "comfortable" as some might put it. I'm working to start up a business and right now, it's not an easy thing to do. I'm not looking for a fast way out and I'm sure as hell not looking for sympathy. Things have to be earned in this life. It's what you work for, that is what makes it worth having.

I received 4,648 votes in the election last year.

For me to seriously consider doing this, I would need to have at least three times that amount of signatures on a petition. That's not any legal requirement (that I know of). It's just something that I would need personally.

If (and it would NOT be me instigating this) a petition garnered at least 14,000 signatures from registered, eligible voters from across the 13th North Carolina Congressional district (meaning it couldn't be all in Rockingham County either) asking me to do this, if there could be at least that many signatures by January 9th (two months from now), and if some contributors would be willing to pay the filing fee before the deadline in February...

...then and only then I would run. And it would be in the Republican primary this coming May.

But there are stipulations. As I've said, there would be no negative campaigning from my end of things. If I have to produce a negative commercial or do some "dirty trick" to get elected, then I don't deserve the job and I'll bow out of the race and will never run for office again. As in, "ever". Not for school board or even for dog catcher.

I will not destroy a fellow candidate's reputation, or speak ill of him or her, for sake of increasing my chances. Running for Congress isn't worth hurting someone over.

I wouldn't run as a "conservative". I can't do that any more than I can run as a "liberal". If people are going to cast a vote for me then I want them to know why it is that they are doing so and what I believe in. Yes, those beliefs are very much what could be considered "paleo-conservative", but I'm past the point where I find labels like that to have any meaning.

Concordantly, I wouldn't refer to any opposing candidate as a "conservative" or "liberal" either. Fellow candidates deserve more respect than that, than to shove them into some box for sake of convenience.

If I wound up getting past the primary, I don't even want to think that I'm running "against" Brad Miller for his seat. I'd rather it be said that we are running for the same seat. I wouldn't have anything against the guy to think of him as an "opponent". And it's time that we began to step away from that mindset. Heck, I was one of sixteen candidates in last year's Rockingham County school board race, and not once did I think that I was running "against" anyone of those people. You'd be surprised at how many of us wound up good friends, even.

I wouldn't accept contributions from any political action committee. It would solely be individual contributions. PAC money, if contributed, would be promptly returned.

If, Lord somehow willing, I actually land the seat, I might run for re-election once. And maybe once after that if I were to win again. But after that, that's it. I'm out of there. That would be plenty enough time and some would probably say six years would be too much time. I'm not going to spend my life as a "career politician". So it would be at most six years and then get out and let the next guy serve.

Just because I would be running as a Republican, doesn't mean that I would automatically lend my support to any other Republicans. You want me to believe in a cause? Then you'll have to convince me. Having an "R" stamped next to someone's name is not enough reason to give them my support. The only reason I'd be in the Republican primary is because I do realize that right now, this is the only way to mount a serious-enough campaign for that high an office.

Yes, I guess I would be a Republican In Name Only. But what does the Republican Party stand for these days, anyway?

I don't know. If you read this blog and saw me campaign last year, you know what I believe in at least: limited government. No more income tax. I think Roe v. Wade is horrible legislation and that abortion should be done away with. We should pull out of Iraq, because we should have never gone in there to begin with. We should scrap No Child Left Behind. We should scrap the PATRIOT Act. We should do what we can to revitalize domestic industry but that's something that can't be legislated into being: we've legislated it away, if anything. We should do away with the Department of Education, because the federal government doesn't need to be involved in such a local issue anyway.

I wouldn't make any promises either. Because I know that I can't necessarily deliver on them. All I can tell anyone is what I believe in. They'll have to decide from there whether they want me doing this or not.

If after all of that is understood, and those conditions are met, then and only then would I run. And I would absolutely give it as good an effort as I can muster.

If none of those things happen, then I go on to grad school and hopefully make a better future for myself and my family, and we'll see if God leads me to do something like pursue elected office again in the future. Even if that doesn't happen, I'll still be happy somehow.

I can promise one thing though: if... if... after all of this that I were to wind up running, I have some amazing TV commercials in mind that I would be producing for my own campaign. One of them in particular would definitely trump the "Star Wars" school board ad :-)

If I win, this blog is going to stay up and active.

And that's all that I know to say about the matter.


Anonymous said...

I think that you will succeed in anything that you do because people trust you. Everything that you've ever told me, I've known to be true. But, I think you should run for school board again -- first. I would love to see you get a chair on that board and then I'd surely love to join yah! But whatever you run for, you got my vote for sure!

Anonymous said...

This would be the most interesting Congress race in the 2008 election.

Jenna St.Hilaire said...

Hey ... I kinda like that idea. Too bad I'm not a N.C. citizen to help out with that! I've never heard of such a thing being done, so I don't know what the rules might be around that or if there even are any ... but it sounds like a good way to show you're serious about this.

By the way: Sorry I missed the phone call yesterday. My cell battery died and I didn't get the message till midnight :-P

Keep us posted on this ...

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I know nothing of either your character or platform. I would need intimate knowledge of both to form a rational decision. If you are a Ron Paulist in your political nature, then I would be happy to contribute what I can. You will, however, need to convince the populace at large that you care more about the state of this nation than you do about your personal state of affairs. I don't begrudge your reticence. You have a family, and politicizing equates to a minimal of "family time." It's your decision. I sincerely believe that you won't get the number of signatures for which you so optimistically hope; however, you seem to have strong moral and intellectual conviction. Those two traits will go a long way toward conversion. If you are prepare for sacrifice, then do this thing. Otherwise, stay home and be a good husband. I will support either decision you make. Don't make us decide for you. You have both the right to live your life as you see fit. If your moral guide points towards more humanitarian endeavors, then do so. If your moral guide points towards self-preservation, then do so. Be the change you want to see. That is my advice.

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous" right above: Chris Knight is nearly too good to believe. He seriously is that kind of selfless and moral. I've known about him for a long time and he really puts others before himself. If you follwed the school board race you know where he stands. He said during a debate that if the school board had the power to tax and he was on the board that we shouldn't trust the board because tax power is dangerous. He didn't win but he still stuck with the parents and students like when he fought the uniforms and he organized the costume protest. That's when he wore a Jedi costume to the board meeting. The thing that would make me hesitate to vote for him is that Washington has a way of destroying good people. But there needs to be good people in Washington and if there's one who could stand up against that without being destroyed by it, it's Chris Knight. I would vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Chris Knight could win over Brad Miller. It all depends on whether the Republicans would back him and let him run his own campaign. If anyone could beat Miller, it would be Knight.

Anonymous said...

Is this for real?

Anonymous said...

If you run and then win,

will you wear your lightsaber to the swearing-in ceremony?


Chris Knight said...

"will you wear your lightsaber to the swearing-in ceremony?"

That would not be a good idea.

For one thing, it would be against the law to enter the Capitol armed, unless you are part of the security detail.

For another thing, Congress and imaginary weapons do not go well together.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,

Maybe you could run against Ron Price for Congress. Ha Ha Ha


Chris Knight said...

"Maybe you could run against Ron Price for Congress. Ha Ha Ha"

Johnny, I said that I wouldn't run a negative campaign against any fellow candidate. I mean that.

Anonymous said...

This will go nowhere. The GOP bluebloods will smash you like a bug.

Granny said...

Here's the PD link

Anonymous said...

Saw you on The Soup!

Anonymous said...

Just saw you talking to Mark Childrey on Star News about a run. GO BOY GO!

Anonymous said...

I'll be 18 in June and I will register to vote so that I can vote for you!

Anonymous said...


Please pay attention to the recent race between Danny Marshall and Adam Tomer for a Virginia House of Delegates seat. Your situation bears some resemblance to that of Tomer, and I would hate to see your opponent blast you the way Marshall did him.

But then, don't let that stop you from doing the right thing with this opportunity. And my prayers with you....


Chris Knight said...

Since our TV is tuned into WGSR most of the time, I was watching quite a lot of the Tomer/Marshall race. Seeing how that unfolded was plenty enough reason - if there wasn't already - to campaign the way I've got in mind, if this thing really develops.

If I wind up running in even the primary, and especially in the general election, I won't run a single negative ad against any other candidate in the same race. That goes for either other Republicans, or if it comes to the general election, for Brad Miller. And since I'm going to be running my own campaign (instead of hiring some company to do it) I'll have complete oversight regarding what my campaign does.

If I run a single negative ad, against anyone else running (and I don't even want to think of them as "opponents": in my mind we are running for the same seat, not "against" each other, even though I know some people may not agree with that philosophy)...

...then I won't run for elected office ever again for the rest of my life.

This is supposed to be something about serving people. It's not worth destroying others for, including fellow candidates.

It's like this also: if I wind up running in the general election for Brad Miller's seat, even though we may not agree on some things, I'll have too much respect for him as a fellow candidate than to do something to wreck his reputation. I'd like to meet the guy and shake hands and for us to wish each other well, and for each of us to run campaigns that are upbeat and about ideas. Let the people of the 13th district choose from there.

If I don't win the seat, it's fine with me: it just wasn't meant to be and I'll just trust God to still show me where He wants me to be and move on from there. And no matter what happens when this is over I would love for Miller and I to shake hands again and end this still on friendly terms, if not outright friendship.

I know, this isn't the usual way to run for office. I don't give a flying rat's butt about "the usual way". If people want me to run, it's going to be a very different campaign across the board.

And I'm also going to welcome everyone to go through this blog and find out what kind of person I really am, rough edges and all. I admit that I'm not a perfect man by any stretch. This blog *is* a reflection of that. I don't care. There will be no "scrubbing" of anything from this blog either. If I've written it here, it's going to stay. I will gladly encourage people to see what kind of guy it is that they may be considering casting a vote for.

Let's be honest: I can be angry. I can be vengeful (although I like to think that I've come a long way with that). I can be a damned outright hypocrite at times. The two things that anger me most: to be manipulated, and to see people I care about being hurt. I'm not the person that I know God would have me to be, although I try... and fail all too often.

If I go to Congress, I'm going to be bringing a whole lot of human weaknesses with me.

So better that folks know that now, before they decide whether they really want me for this or not.

The Swamp Fox said...

I hope you do run. We need someone worth voting for here in the 13th. And I would support your campaign, no matter what ticket you ran on.


Anonymous said...