By Ryan McCarthy
Ryan Harter, a U.S. Air Force veteran who says the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., has contorted and disregarded constitutional rights, is running as an independent for the congressional seat now held by Democrat John Garamendi.
“I’m the huge underdog,” Harter said.
California Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, is also running in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Yolo and Solano counties. Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is seeking re-election.
Harter, a resident of Plumas Lake in Yuba County, said what irked him most politically was the congressional vote in December to decrease by 1 percent the cost-of-living adjustment for veterans.
“Everybody was in a hurry to get home for Christmas,” he said of the vote.
A cut in veterans benefits “would have been a deal-killer” for him, Harter said.
He said he likes a lot of the points that Logue makes, but he objects to the fact that the state lawmaker and Garamendi vote with their parties 100 percent of the time.
“A lot of people are fed up with the rhetoric of the left staying in their aisle and the right staying in their aisle,” Harter said.
As an independent, he won’t get the financial support that Garamendi and Logue will receive from their parties, Harter said. While they’ll receive thousands of dollars, he said, “I’m enthusiastic if get $50 or $100.”
The congressional candidate said he believes Solano County is the key to winning the election and that he’ll be campaigning there in March.
Harter, 32, served 12 years in the Air Force, with tours in Afghanistan, Turkey and Germany. He describes himself a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, limited federal government, tax reform, social program reform and veterans rights.
He and his wife Megan, also a veteran who served in Iraq, have four children.
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