Elizabethton, Tenn (WJHL) – Steve Holder said he’s running as an independent candidate in the First District U.S. Congressional race because neither major political party matches up with his beliefs.
“I don’t really fit in comfortably with either party,” he said during a recent interview about this campaign. “I’m more liberal than I am conservative.”
Holder said on some on points, though, he’s opposed to the Democratic party platform. “I’d mostly be a Democratic candidate except I’m pro-life, and I’m very adamant about that. And I’m pro-Second Amendment.”
“Sometimes we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils, and I’m tired of that and other people are tired of that and that’s why I’m running as an independent,” he said.
As for why he’s running for Congress at all, Holder said he wants to help the people in his home region who he believes are struggling.
“I live off of a modest disability check, and I’m ok with that,” he said. “But I really feel sorry for the families who have to try to live on unemployment or families who don’t have that.”
Holder told us that he knows what’s it’s like to struggle financially, having spent his life working a variety of jobs with modest wages. He served in the U.S. Army and as a Christian minister with a doctorate in ministry from the Spirit of Truth Institute, a full gospel seminary based in Richmond, Va.
“It was never a career choice for me,” he said. “It was something I felt led by God to do.”
Holder has never run for public office, but neither had another candidate named Donald Trump who successfully ran for president four years ago, he points out.
“If he can run the country without it, why can’t I run the First District?”
But Steve Holder is no fan of President Trump. In a Youtube video posted in May 2018, Holder said he believes Donald Trump is the Antichrist.
What did he mean, and does he stand by that now?
“If he’s not (the Antichrist), he’s a good imitation,” Holder said. “To me, that means the things he does is against Christ. It’s against the Christian religion.”
Holder says he’s spent less than $100 on his campaign. He’s not reported any financial data to the Federal Election Commission. If elected, he said he’ll donate 90 percent of his salary to charity, and he’s challenged the other congressional candidates to do the same.
When asked what issues are most important to him as a Congressional candidate, he identified two as top-tier: human trafficking and systemic racism.
“We’ve got slavery going on right now and every day not only here but all over the world,” Holder said. “I don’t understand how people can not be concerned about that.”
Holder said he believes system racism is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed at a local, state and federal level.
Steve Holder on key issues
“A lot of people want to act like it’s not real, but it is a real thing,” he said. “Not only in Northeast Tennessee but all over the country.”
Holder said he supports both law enforcement and peaceful protestors fighting for racial equality.
“All lives can’t matter unless black lives matter,” he said. “It’s the black lives that are being really taken for granted and have for centuries.”
“There’s a lot of black people being killed for no reason. And that needs to change,” Holder said.
On Tuesday, September 29th, Holder updated his website to include his Foreign Policy positions.
Holder says he supports a strong military and productive diplomacy. As part of a plan to protect the U.S. from diseases from foreign countries, Holder revealed he supports changes to the U.S. healthcare system including legislation requiring hospitals to be run by medical doctors “and not just business people.” And Holder said he believes “Every American should be given free and total healthcare from cradle to grave.”
He said his independent candidate/low-dollar approach has come with a consequence. “It has been a huge challenge to be taken seriously by some people,” he said. But Holder is optimistic. “I have a one out of the three chance just like the other two,” he said.
After Republican candidate Diana Harshbarger refused to debate Democratic candidate Blair Walsingham, Holder says he asked Walsingham to debate him.
Holder said Walsingham refused.
“I think Blair is being hypocritical about that,” Holder said.
Walsingham’s campaign spokesman told News Channel 11 Walsingham wants to debate Holder and Harshbarger.
“Steve Holder did not participate in the Democratic Primary during which, had he been honest about his intention to serve in Congress to “unequivocally increase the Democratic majority in the House,” he would have faced off with Blair long before now. He is on the ballot because he was able to secure 25 signatures. Blair is focused on the issues, and a debate with her GOP opponent will show that Blair has plans for real economic growth and improvement of health in the district. She sees no reason why Steve should not be included in that debate.” – Ian Ratner, Blair Walsingham campaign manager
“I’m ready to debate either of them,” Holder said.
- ‘I don’t take anything for granted’: Republican Diana Harshbarger running for Congress in Northeast Tenn.
- ‘I’m American above all else’: Democrat Blair Walsingham running for Congress in Northeast Tenn.