What office are you running for?
U.S. House, Florida’s 6th District
With which party are you running for office?
8/18/2020 (primary), 11/03/2020 (general)
Why are you running for office?
I’m running to make a difference for Central Floridians and give us local, progressive representation in Congress. The people of Daytona Beach have been left behind for too long. We deserve so much better. I know this area and have lived in Volusia County since birth. I will work toward universal healthcare to benefit local residents and healthcare providers, increased Title I funding for our schools, affordable housing, a Green New Deal to retire failing fossil fuels and save our children’s future and coasts, protecting and strengthening Social Security for our district’s many retirees, and a universal basic income to put money in the pockets of the 99%, rather than top businesses and the wealthy elites.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
I would say COVID-19 at the moment, the climate crisis in the long term, and a lack of opportunity for residents in the medium term. I know that’s three things, not one, so let me just focus on opportunity. We have among the lowest median wages of any metropolitan area in Florida. There are 553,000 people in Volusia County, who have for too long been forgotten, left behind, and stood in the shadow of Orlando (and, to a lesser extent, Jacksonville). The people of mid-town Daytona Beach don’t even have a grocery store. I’m going to put a congressional district office right here in mid-town Daytona Beach to help constituents (replacing the Port Orange office—those folks can drive a little bit). We’ll have a shuttle back and forth to the Social Security office in Port Orange.
I’m going to work toward Medicaid expansion in Florida. I’m going to whip votes for H.R. 584, the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act of 2019, and re-introduce it in the 117th Congress myself if I have to. Oklahoma, a deep red state, just expanded Medicaid. Florida has left over $50 billion on the table, and over 800,000 Floridians without coverage, due to refusing on partisan grounds to expand Medicaid since January 1, 2014. We need to make it very clear that the Republican party works against small businesses. It works against the little guy—folks like you. I’ll fight for Medicare for All—universal healthcare for all Americans. Nurses, physicians, and allied health providers support it. It would be a huge boost to our economy, to public health, and to American entrepreneurship and ingenuity. How many folks do you know who are stuck in jobs they hate just for the health insurance?
I’ll work to fully fund education. Two-thirds of Volusia County schools are Title I schools. I’m an educator with a PhD in Education who has studied financial literacy and economics. I’ve taught 300 students at UCF, mostly future teachers. We need to prioritize education at all levels. We need to forgive these ridiculous student loan debts and never let it happen again. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We need to reduce militarism, repeal and replace the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act”, and fully staff and fund our IRS. Wealth stratification is out of control. Vote #Thripp2020 for a Change for the Many. These are dark, tragic times, but I believe a Great Democratic American Comeback and American Renaissance is around the corner.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
The divide has definitely widened. We’ve got to return power to the people. We need to make it easier to run for office and to end big money’s influence in politics. It’s basically legal bribery. We have to agree on facts. The Republican party is basically committing harakiri at this point. I think it will be difficult, in six months, to find a Republican politician who admits to having supported Trump. Republicans are going to have to support environmentalism, labor protections, education, healthcare, good jobs, and social safety nets. We’ll have a blue House, blue Senate, and blue presidency in 2021. We need to invoke the nuclear option in the Senate and act unilaterally, like the Republicans did with the greatest robbery of the U.S. Treasury in modern history (the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act”). The American people will see the results, and they are going to love it.
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I’m husband to Kristy and father to Ricky, our 17-month-old son. He is why I’m running for Congress. I want him and all the other little kids like him to have a future. We cannot keep allowing awful politicians like the boot-licking Trump incumbent to hold the reins. Being your congressman for Florida’s 6th district comes with a $1.4 million annual taxpayer budget for offices, resources, and staff to write laws, help constituents, and advocate for you. The incumbent Republican has done an awful job—if you send him a question you get a form email response that has nothing to do with your inquiry, and then he counts that in the 11,000 emails his office “answered” in 2019. There are plenty of other ways I could volunteer to make a difference, but in running for Congress here, we have the opportunity to make a huge impact. I saw the Democrats had no real candidate, and how out-of-touch the freshman incumbent is, not even living in the district or knowing the area. That’s why I decided to run now. It couldn’t wait. This district is only an R+7. Oklahoma’s 5th district is an R+10 and flipped blue in 2018. Utah’s 4th district is an R+13 and flipped. We can do it. This is not a long-shot campaign just to make a political statement. We’re making a big political statement AND WE’RE TAKING IT TO THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!! WE’RE GOING TO WALTZ RIGHT INTO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL SEAT, MR. WALTZ!!
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Please visit us at https://thrippforcongress.com and put in your info. You can text our Google Voice line at 386-232-8172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love your help. We can just get you started amplifying us on social media with your personal account if you’d like. We’re doing text banking, canvassing (just leaving door hangers due to COVID-19), and spinning up phone banking. We have DNC VoteBuilder Florida now (it cost $3,500—ouch!). We need your help.
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