PROSPERITY — Rudy Barnes, Jr., the American Party nominee for the 5th Congressional District and former Columbia City Councilman, officially announced his candidacy for congress in the Town of Prosperity.
Barnes, a retired Army Colonel and former member of Columbia City Council, received the nomination of the American Party of South Carolina in May during the Party’s convention and formally announced his candidacy as the party’s nominee late last week..
“Rudy Barnes exemplifies the type of public servant candidate for public office that our nation so desperately needs at this time in our history,” said Jim Rex, American Party Chairman. “His distinguished career in the military and in law, coupled with his reputation as a man of faith and compassion sets him apart from the rank and file career politicians of our day.”
The following is Rudy Barnes announcement statement:
I am announcing my candidacy for the Fifth Congressional District. I want voters in the 5th District to know that they have a choice in November. They don’t have to vote for either the incumbent Republican Congressman whose loyalty is to Donald Trump as his party’s leader, or for his Democrat opponent whose loyalty will be to Hillary Clinton. For many voters, those choices are unacceptable.
I am committed to bring a fresh approach to Congress that can restore legitimacy to a polarized and corrupt political process. My campaign will be unconventional. It will address how we can apply our religious ideals to restore legitimacy to a polarized and corrupt political process. I plan to have community meetings throughout the District to hear concerns and share my vision of a politics of reconciliation.
We live in a nation of increasing diversity. While that diversity should be our strength, it has become a weakness because of negative politics that have exploited issues of race, religion and sexual preference to create suspicion, fear and hatred. Politics have become polarized with “hot button” negative issues used to motivate voters. A politics of reconciliation will focus on building bridges and tearing down the walls that have divided us.
Ideals are essential to our religion and politics, but Republicans and Democrats have rejected compromise and stifled progress with misplaced partisan ideals. I will emphasize the need to relate the ideals of our faith to promote a politics of reconciliation. My ideals are based on faith, reason and respect for valued traditions, but I understand the need to compromise for progressive change that is consistent with my ideals.
To restore legitimacy to a corrupt political process, we need to apply the moral standards of our faith to our politics. Jews, Christians and Muslims all share a common word of faith in the greatest commandment to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. That moral imperative of faith can replace a politics of fear, anger and division with a politics of reconciliation that can minimize the racial and religious hostility that divides us.
When I was elected to Columbia City Council in 1978 it was all white and all male. It was a tradition that needed to change. I advocated a method of electing council members that included a mix of at large and single-member district representatives, and a 4-2-1 system was enacted that provided black representation on Columbia City Council for the first time.
Today interfaith relations between Christians and Muslims are critical in both our domestic politics and foreign policy. We need to consider progressive Muslims who share our values as our neighbors and as critical allies in defeating radical Islamist terrorism. Only Muslims can undermine the legitimacy of radical Islamism in the Middle East and Africa, and that requires promoting the fundamental freedoms of religion and speech in Islamic cultures.
I am committed to protect our fundamental freedoms from big government and the mega-corporations and banks of Wall Street, and I will promote a healthy balance between our individual rights and providing for the common good. That requires political independence from partisan loyalties and the corrupting power of Wall Street that I can bring to Congress.
I became involved in politics as a Republican to give voters in S.C. a choice; but in 1986 I became disillusioned with the Republican Party and became an independent. Today I am running as a candidate of the American Party of S.C. to once again give voters a choice. I am more convinced than ever that we need a new party to break the stifling duopoly of the Republican and Democratic parties on our politics.
I’m not a youngster. I’m the same age as Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell. But the term of office for Congress is only two years, and in that time I can make a positive difference in Washington. I would like to show voters what an experienced and energetic senior citizen can do for them. One thing they don’t have to worry about — at my age I won’t be a career politician.
This political season has been unusually rude, crude and dangerously divisive. We need a politics of reconciliation to overcome our divisiveness and restore legitimacy to our political process. I look forward to sharing that message with voters in the 5th Congressional district, and hope that on November 8 they will reject the ominous prediction of Edmund Burke that in our democracy we will forge our own shackles.
Barnes is a graduate of The Citadel and earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Carolina. He is a retired Army Colonel who served on active duty in Special Action Force Asia, and in the Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs Officer and Staff Judge Advocate in Special Operation Forces. He is a graduate of the Army War College and recipient of the Legion of Merit. Barnes is a former member of Columbia City Council and practices law in Little Mountain. He is married to his wife Jeanette and has three children, Tracie, Rudy, and Ashley…and two grandchildren, Grace and Carson.
Rudy Barnes website — www.rudybarnesforcongress.com
Rudy Barnes facebook — www.facebook.com/BarnesforCongress/
American Party website: www.americanpartysc.com
Barnes will face Democrat Fran Person and incumbent Republican Mick Mulvaney in the November general election.
This story courtesy of the Rudy Barnes campaign.