Independent declares intention to run against Brooks

Published: Jul. 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM CDT
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Mark Bray (Source: Facebook)
Mark Bray (Source: Facebook)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - An independent candidate is rising up to challenge 5th District Congressman Mo Brooks.

The Alabama Secretary of State signed off on Mark Bray's petition to get on the November ballot. Their office revealed that as of Saturday, Bray's heavily-online campaign racked up more than 7,700 signatures on his petition; more than enough to qualify for the race.

Bray's Facebook and Twitter pages say he is an engineer. He said he is running for Congress in hopes of being able to "change the conversation in Washington."

"The people of this district have a choice," Bray said. "I think they are clamoring for difference."

Like Congressman Brooks, Bray calls himself a social conservative with plenty of common ground with the Tea Party, but disagrees with Brooks on the national deficit and debt. Bray said it is time to concentrate on the reasons for weakness in the economy, like over-regulation and the Federal Reserve's easy money policies.

"We've got a basic argument between austerity, which is, 'Let's cut spending regardless of what it does to our economy,' or inflationary practices, which essentially is stealing from the working man and making the cost of their goods and services go higher," said Bray.

Bray also said he wants to replace Mo Brooks' relationships in the Capitol, which he said are too combative.

"He's been at odds even within the Republican Party and I think that makes it very difficult to build coalitions and move some of your ideas forward," he said. "Compromise is probably not the word people like. Cooperation is a word a lot of people, voters like."

Bray said the 5th District is clearly Republican, but that it is ready for an independent.

"An independent is something that's starting to gain a lot of steam out there in the grass-roots community, and they are excited that there is competition," said Bray.

No Democrat qualified to run against Brooks, who is seeking re-election.

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