Howell: Election of an Independent Would Send a Message to the World
Candidate made remarks during a forum Wednesday night in Arlington.
Independent congressional candidate Jason Howell, who is running against U.S. Rep. Jim Moran and two other challengers, introduced himself at a forum Wednesday night in an unusual way — by saying he didn't dislike the incumbent, that in fact Moran reminded him of "someone I miss dearly."
"But I'm running against this particular candidate because I will have the ability to do what he cannot," Howell said. "After 21 years of his dedicated service, unfortunately, he has been painted into a partisan corner. I will have the wherewithal and nothing to gain from either party to go in there and write a piece of legislation that's nuanced."
Howell said he was running as an independent because the only way to reduce partisanship is to send people to Congress who do not represent a party. He said he would have the ability to knock on the door of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican, and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat, and ask what they could accomplish together. Both are from Virginia.
When asked, Howell would not say which party he would caucus with if elected — adding that decision would be made between November and January. But he told the crowd that if they and 142,000 of their friends sent him to Congress, they would have sent the world a message.
"You will have elected the only independent in the U.S. House of Representatives. This district, with a 21-year incumbent in a supposedly safe area, one of the wealthiest in the country, full of government contractors, right next to D.C. … You will have sent an independent," Howell said. "You will have told the country and even the world that this partisan politics thing is not funny anymore. You will have carved your initials into history."