John Keller | United States
Drew Miller, former candidate for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, spoke with 71Republic in this exclusive post-election interview. Drew Miller received 1,378 votes – more than the margin Conor Lamb won by. The GOP is pushing for a recount and many are criticizing Drew Miller for “handing the election” to Conor Lamb. This is simply not the case.
Keller: What encouraged you to run for public office?
Miller: I decided to run for public office because I was tired of going into a voting booth only have to choose between 1 — or at the most — 2 options. I knew that if I wanted to see real change, maybe it could start with me. I really decided after the Libertarian Parties of Allegheny and Washington Counties came to me and said they wanted me to be their candidate.
Keller: You are running for Congress as a libertarian. In your own words, what is libertarianism?
Miller: Libertarianism is the idea of taking power away from the government and putting individual freedom and responsibility back into the hands of the people. It’s also about being fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. Essentially, “live and let live”.
Keller: With a majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, how would having a libertarian in Congress change the dynamic of the national government?
Miller: Being a Libertarian in Congress would allow me to be a truly independent thinker and could allow me to bridge the divide between the two major parties, since I consider myself to be a mix of the best qualities of each party.
Keller: Gun control has come to dominate the national conversation with the recent tragic events in Florida. Where do you stand on gun control?
Miller: I don’t think banning guns or putting in more restrictions will help the root cause of gun violence and mass shootings: mental illness. People can always find different ways to obtain a gun or different ways to kill and creating some sort of a “mental illness database” would only stigmatize those deemed to be mentally ill. I think the best way to address it would be to address the mental illness problem we have in our country. If we do that, we won’t just solve gun violence, but a plethora of societal issues.
Keller: Pennsylvania is a battleground state and arguably decided the 2016 presidential election. What is your message to on the fence voters?
Miller: My message to on the fence voters is that the 2 party system has failed you. 221 years ago Washington gave his farewell address to Congress and he warned us that if we allowed the parties to get too strong, they would undermine everything we worked so hard to create as a country. Now we are at the threshold of Washington’s premonition. We have the ability to send a REAL message to Washington, D.C. by rejecting the duopoly and authoritarianism and giving the power back to the people. Republicans and Democrats tell you how government can make your life better. I’m here to tell you how your life will be better without the government interfering.
Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Miller: My entire campaign relied upon unpaid volunteers and talking to high school and college aged students. I believe we are going to see a youth-lead revolution of libertarian ideas very shortly. This will be the first time since 1996 that voters in the 18th District will have the ability to choose a 3rd option for a congressional candidate. It has been an honor to be that 3rd option.
Drew Miller formally conceded the election at 8:05 am on the 14th of March, 2018, after receiving 0.6% of the vote, triple the 0.2% margin of victory. Conor Lamb was able to secure an upset victory in Pennsylvania’s 18th District against Republican Rick Saccone, not because of Drew Miller but simply by gaining enough support.
Many are trying to look into the “tea leaves” to see what the future holds for November elections. Trump won this district by twenty points in 2016, and a democrat was able to win the seat in 2018 election. While many are saying this is a voter mandate rejecting the policies of the Trump Administration, it is hard to speculate due to the democrat that one being a moderate, pro-life and pro-gun veteran. Only time will tell what this means for 2018.
I would like to thank Drew Miller for his time. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.
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