Mark Harvey never dreamed of being a politician and he doesn’t relish the thought of living in Washington D.C.
But the retired U.S. Department of Transportation employee is still running for Wyoming’s lone congressional seat because he wants citizens to have affordable health care.
“I’m not in this for me; I’m in this for the people of the United States,” said Harvey, who officially announced Saturday that he will run as a Democrat for the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
Harvey is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy for Wyoming’s House seat. Laramie attorney Travis Helm emerged as a Democratic challenger last month.
Insurance companies keep increasing premiums and the “average Joe” is struggling to pay for medical care, Harvey said. The issue will continue to worsen until lawmakers come up with a solution.
Harvey wants the country to adopt the “Cowboy Healthcare Plan.” Each taxpayer would put 1/30 of their salary into a healthcare fund, which would then be used to pay for everyone’s care. Corporations, such as Microsoft and Facebook, would also be required to contribute.
“They are persons according to the Supreme Court,” he said, in apparent reference to the 2010 Citizens United case.
Healthcare is his primary concern, but the Cody resident also weighed in on gun control and President Donald Trump.
As a longtime owner of hunting rifles, Harvey said he supports gun rights — with some restrictions.
“I do not support any military style assault weapons that the framers of the Constitution had no idea would exist … When they wrote the Second Amendment, they were shooting muskets,” he said.
Harvey said he considers Trump “a liar” and objects to his recent decision to withdraw the United States from the nuclear accord with Iran.
“His own people in the White House told him not to,” he said.
Trump’s decision to withdraw has since sparked a series of anti-American protests throughout cities in Iran. Critics of Trump’s decision fear that Iran will now restart the nuclear-fuel enrichment that the agreement halted.
Those who support Trump’s decision — including Cheney and Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi — believe the agreement did not go far enough to stop Iran’s ambition to build nuclear weapons.
Harvey served as a surveying technician and inspector for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration for 17 years before retiring in 2017. He previously worked as a history instructor at Northwest College in Powell.
He holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Wyoming.
He and his wife, Valerie, live outside of Cody.