Arthur Drew was born in the state of Pennsylvania, in a rural farming and industrial community. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force, where he attended college while stationed in Washington state. He was also deployed for about a year to Vietnam. When his service was finished, he entered the private sector, initially focusing on aviation but eventually settling into the electrical servicing and manufacturing industry, in which he owned his own business.
Running as an Independent, Drew is critical of both Republican and Democratic policies, and he frequently speaks against President Obama's initiatives. He challenges the President's assertion that unemployment has dropped by nearly half since 2009, saying that their calculations flagrantly ignore those who have given up finding a job, and were made entirely for political gain. He also accuses the administration, and for that matter every administration and Congress in recent memory, of having service to corporate sector profits as their one and only goal.
Drew blames the phenomenon of outsourcing for the decline in American employment and the stagnation of domestic wages. He proposes the imposition of penalties on businesses that outsource labor overseas, with an emphasis on ensuring that these penalties cost more than a firm stands to save by shipping the jobs away. He also suggests using lower taxes, reduced interest loans, and other incentives to encourage companies to do business in the United States.
While he is sympathetic to environmental concerns and supports the Environmental Protection Agency's overall mission, Drew criticizes that agency's overly complex regulations, calling them confusing and saying they could leave private land owners unaware of whether they need to seek permits to modify their property. He calls for stronger oversight of the EPA to reduce its bureaucracy and provide clear, simple guidelines.
Drew is cautious on foreign policy, questioning American involvement in the Middle East and specifically against the terrorist group ISIS. He says that President Obama's commitment to help fight that organization will be felt well into his successor's administration, and he cautions that America's military should instead be used to secure the border at home.
Drew's strategy of using tax incentives to stimulate domestic business and industry is a conservative trait, while his support for government agencies like the EPA and his careful approach toward foreign policy are more leftist. As a result, most of his support is likely to be found among those in the center, who avoid politically veering far onto either side of the spectrum.
Benjamin Weigel was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. He is a graduate of Bakersfield High School, from which he counts several notable athletes and politicians as fellow alumni. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps, where he served for thirteen years. He was both stationed domestically and deployed overseas numerous times, including to Ramadi, Iraq, where he saw combat. He spent two years in the Air Force Reserve following his time in the Marines, then chose to end his military career entirely due to injuries sustained during his service. He is presently pursuing a bachelors' degree while working full time as a bus driver.
As a candidate, Weigel comes down slightly right of center, but he is not firmly bound to any particular ideology. He is extremely pro-military, arguing that the United States cannot afford to reduce its armed forces in light of threats from terrorists and hostile nations, and he criticizes elected leaders for comprising, in their majority, people who have never served. He also values the role which veterans play in civilian industry and praises efforts such as the Wounded Warrior project, while calling for further initiatives and denouncing the ignorance of businesses who do not understand what former military people have to offer. He calls for a balanced budget, saying this can be easily achieved and blaming the deficit on the government's improper allocation of existing tax revenues. While he considers illegal immigration to be a border security issue, he opposes existing proposals such as the construction of border walls, and he does not support amnesty.
Weigel advocates for strong civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies, as a check against incidents of police brutality and racism. He specifically rejects internal and intra-agency investigations, as he says that law enforcement share a common culture of mutual protection, and thus their efforts to police themselves are not reliable.
Running as an Independent, Weigel avoids taking strong positions on controversial issues, but where he does commit, he is more right-leaning than not – particularly in his support of the military. Still, it is the centrist who will most agree with his platform, with those strongly right or left likely feeling the depth of his positions to be lacking.