Declared 2016 



Entrepreneur


Jeremiah Pent was born in Arlington, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth. After graduating from high school and marriage, he and his family moved several times around the country, and currently reside in Pennsylvania. He briefly studied at Texas Christian University, but would eventually earn his Masters Degree (in Divinity) from the Westminster Theological Seminary. Professionally, he is an entrepreneur, having founded and run several businesses in a number of industries including agriculture and toy manufacturing.

Pent speaks in broad terms of the need to address the social and economic issues facing the US. He believes the biggest problem currently plaguing the nation is its own lack of unity, and that all other challenges can more easily be overcome if the divisions between religious and ethnic groups can be ameliorated. Other than admitting that this will be a difficult (but achievable) task, however, he offers few specifics on how it might be accomplished. Economically, he favors a balanced budget, advocating the maintenance of a federal government that operates within its means just as, he says, average American families must do. He believes this goal can be reached through middle class tax cuts and a careful restructuring and streamlining of the government's operations.

Pent is particularly preoccupied with the American educational system and its importance to the nation's children, and speaks at length of ensuring that schools are staffed by competent teachers able to properly guide and instruct their students. Once again, however, he is sparse on describing any specific changes which he feels should be made to or by the schools.

An independent candidate, Pent worries over the stark dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats, and claims that these two parties collectively represent only about a third of the American population. He points out the fact that George Washington, the nation's first President, was himself an independent, and that many Presidents immediately following him also did not formally belong to any political party. Concerned about the influence wielded over politicians by wealthy donors, Pent has pledged to accept campaign contributions only from individuals, not rich supporters who act through Political Action Committees and super PACs.

Due to Pent's reluctance to discuss his specific policy ideas, it is difficult to evaluate which voting demographics would be most likely to support and oppose him.
 
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2016 



Aircraft Maintenance Professional
Born: January 19th, 1971  (age 46)


Chris Keniston was born in Washington DC, but as a military child, he moved with his family a total of three times before finally settling in a small town north of Pittsburgh following his father's honorable discharge from the military. After graduating from high school, he immediately began working at a variety of jobs (sometimes several at a time), lacking the resources to continue his education. He joined the US Air Force in 1996, following in his father's (and grandfather's) footsteps, and worked successfully in various aircraft maintenance roles that won him many decorations. This improved his financial situation, and during his service he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His military career ended when, like his father, he was honorably discharged, after which he completed post-graduate work and earned certification as a Maintenance and Reliability professional.

Keniston is strongly focused on job creation, believing it to be essential to American economic recovery. He calls for the stimulation of businesses to hire more through extensive tax reform. Specifically, Keniston calls for the outright abolition of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which introduced the income tax, and replacing that Amendment with a National Consumption Tax on non-essential items to be imposed only following the income tax's repeal. He contends that this will address unfairness in the existing tax code by increasing the spending power of lower-income earners and ensuring that all people pay a fair percentage of taxes on the goods they buy.

Though he is running as the nominee of the Veterans party (an avowed centrist organization), Keniston is sharply critical of Democratic President Obama's budget plans, which he believes call for unsustainable levels of spending. He is also displeased with Democratic plans to pay for these excesses, specifically rejecting any notion of an increase in the gasoline tax which has been suggested as tactically advisable in the midst of currently low gas prices.

Most of Keniston's positions carry mild right-wing tendencies, particularly as they relate to tax reform and the avoidance of any tax increases. However, his positions are far from extreme, and true to the principles of his party, are mostly centrist in nature. Those who consider both Republican and Democratic platforms to be excessive are most likely to be attracted to his platform.
 
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