This spring, you might catch Mark Gibson in a local coffee shop — like the Starbucks on Ox Road, where he was Thursday morning — with a clipboard in his hand, his sleeves rolled up and a smile on his face.
Gibson, a self-proclaimed moderate Independent, is running for against U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) for Virginia's 11th District.
Right now, he's spending four mornings a week at local coffee shops, and, so far, has about 250 of 1,500 required signatures.
"It' been really interesting. I'm not one to ask for something that's not mine," said Gibson, who spoke to Lorton residents this morning.
"But we need common sense. We know we can't keep spending money we don't have. The Government will be in debt for a really long time. We need to pay that back and that means taking in more than you spend. Nobody likes paying taxes but we all use government services."
Gibson, the CEO of Advanced Technology Solutions, Inc., lives in Fairfax with his wife and two children. "I just don't see eye-to-eye with either party," he said. "Mr. Connolly says he wants no changes to Medicare, but we're covering people like it's 1966 and the population being served is changing."
Gibson's key issues
- The federal budget
- Home mortgage reduction
- The federal tax code
So far, Gibson has no staff and spent about $2,500. "I turned 50 last year. It wasn't exactly a crisis, but I've ben thinking about running for a long time," he said. "I understand how a business runs and how economies work. I can't say when there are 434 other people on the Hill that one person could make that much of a difference, but it would change the conversation. I'd like to hear more from Mr. Connolly, but maybe since he hasn't been in office that long he doesn't have the seniority. I just don't see him straying from the party line on anything."