Independent Candidate Looking to Take Congressman Neugebauer's Seat

Published 12/13 2013 07:29PM

Updated 02/13 2014 11:01AM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- A 35 year old has filed to run as an independent for the seat currently held by Congressman Randy Neugebauer.

Justin Rhodes, a local firefighter, is originally from Dallas, and now calls Lubbock home. He said he decided to throw his name into the race after hearing a lot of people complain about the direction of the country, and now he wants to try to do something about it.

"Everybody's complained, but no one has done anything, no one has stepped up and taken a risk," Rhodes said. "I feel on a national level is where I can make the biggest impact for myself and for the people in this district."

He filed to run as an independent, meaning his name will not appear on the March primary ballots. Now that he's filed his declaration to run, he is just waiting until after the primary elections. Then, he will have to submit a petition with a certain number of signatures in order to appear on the November ballot.  He said he feels the other firefighters have helped him to broaden his views, and meet people of all different beliefs.

"The fire department's very diverse. I mean, tons of different political ideology, you know, different thoughts, amongst the 300 guys who serve this city," Rhodes said. "And it's sitting with those guys, and listening to their views, that may not be the same has really piqued my interest, in doing this, completely."

Rhodes said he has no intention of making Congress a lifetime career. "I see these politicians who are in Washington for multiple years, for lifetimes, they're career politicians, and they forget the people that they serve. So my goal is to get elected, go do it the way it is supposed to be done, and come back home to Lubbock, Texas," Rhodes said.

He's hoping for some kind of change in Washington, D.C. "Some of the most brilliant minds in the world are in Washington, D.C. right now and they can't put their politics aside in order to come to solutions, to make this country great again, to get this country back on track, to where it needs to be," Rhodes said.

Friday, he said he didn't want to answer policy questions because it is so long before the general election.

According to the Texas Secretary of State's website, there are three candidates on the March Republican primary ballot. Those names are incumbent Randy Neugebauer, Chris Winn, and Dr. Donald May.  The site also lists one Democratic candidate, Neal Marchbanks.

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