Declared 2016 



Bus Driver


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.

 
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