Eight candidates are on the Aug. 4 primary ballot for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen, Democrat, of Everett; high school math teacher Jason Call, Democrat, of Marysville; former state legislator James Dean Golder, Republican, of Oak Harbor; civil engineer Cody Hart, Republican, of Sedro-Woolley; investment adviser Timothy Hazelo, Republican, of Oak Harbor; past U.S. House candidate Kari Ilonummi, Republican, of Arlington; activist and volunteer Carrie R. Kennedy, Republican, of Oak Harbor; and software company founder Tim Uy, Republican, of Bellingham.
The two top finishers in the primary will advance to the Nov. 3 general election. Members of the House are elected to two-year terms.
The Anacortes American asked the candidates to answer the following questions. Call, Golder and Ilonummi did not respond.
Name: Cody Hart
Party Preference: Republican
Occupation: Small business owner, civil engineer
Education: BS in Civil Engineering
Elected offices held: This is the first elected position I have pursued.
Community involvement: U.S. Navy veteran; member, Skagit Council of Governments Transportation System Technical Advisory Committee and Skagit County Human Services Transportation Services Plan; committee chair, Washington chapter of American Public Works Association; member, Skagit/Island County Builders Association.
Campaign website: Codyhart.org
Why are you running for office? Over the last several years, I have been using my expertise as a professional engineer to expose hundreds of millions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse that government has allowed through ignorance or incompetence. At the same time, I have been fighting rampant discrimination against veterans and minority-owned businesses. I am tired of hearing that no one will be held accountable and that raising taxes is the answer. I have a better answer and I actually have the skills needed to fix these problems. I will hold the government accountable and will work with others. That is why I decided to run for U.S. Representative.
What are the five biggest issues facing the candidate who is elected to this position?: Infrastructure system, government accountability, childcare reform, reliance on foreign manufacturing, affordable housing.
How will you address them?: Infrastructure system — As a civil engineer, I have been fighting infrastructure system abuse by politicians and government employees for years who have been taking advantage of under-qualified elected officials. I will not be taken advantage of and I will fight to eliminate the manipulation of our infrastructure funds by those who never want to see the system truly fixed.
Government accountability — My extensive experience being a government watchdog and my reporting on waste, fraud and abuse has provided me the skills and expertise needed to hold government accountable in the oversight role the public expects of its representatives.
Childcare reform — The public education system’s infrastructure can be used to provide an immediate relief to Americans needing childcare. Utilizing existing school locations and resources to meet our nation’s childcare needs until privately funded alternatives can catch up to better fill the need is how I will start.
Reliance on foreign manufacturing — America’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic was hamstrung by a lack of critical resources. We’ve outsourced research and manufacturing of vaccines, medical devices and medical supplies. This has eliminated countless American jobs and put our citizens in a position of being held hostage by foreign firms. I will propose legislation to restore American manufacturing of critical health care components, with subsidies to private companies if needed, to restore a minimum national production to prepare for disasters. This will include a deadline for elimination of our dependence upon foreign nations for production of these basic public health necessities.
Affordable housing — I am tired of politicians not being honest about the affordable housing crisis we are having and that this is a part of the bigger problem of unnecessary government bureaucracy that has been resulting in the skyrocketing price of building homes. Stopping the relentless changing of building codes and reducing the new code approval requirements for building products will be one of the first ways I address this issue.
What sets you apart from your opponents?: I am the only candidate who actually has experience holding government accountable, is an infrastructure expert, has managed millions of dollars, has served honorably in the military, and also owns a small business. Simply put, I am the only candidate who has actually shown I have the background, expertise and grit to do this job on day one.
How are you campaigning and engaging with voters during the pandemic?: Even though the COVID pandemic has made in-person engagements relatively impractical, I am not afraid to put my positions down in writing and let voters know through my website and social media what my positions are.
How can voters learn more about you?: I encourage all voters to find out more about me on my website at Codyhart.org, which also contains information about social media platforms they can visit to learn more about me.