U.S. Senate hopeful makes trek across state trying to get placed on November ballot
By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Kevin Chisholm is walking and riding his way through Virginia in the hopes that all the traveling will eventually take him to the U.S. Senate.
Chisholm, an independent, was in Front Royal Monday on the latest leg of an intermittent journey on which he has logged thousands of miles on buses and done much solitary hiking.
He planned to spend the day walking to Luray, undaunted by the chill morning temperatures or the fact that he has much work to do to guarantee a place for himself on the November ballot alongside the Democratic and Republican nominees.
Chisholm, a civil engineer and consultant from Arlington, said he walks the campaign trail sometimes because it gives him a chance to think and get to know the state in all its diversity.
"I'm a contemplative guy," he said. "It gives me a chance to write."
Chisholm's political views come from a variety of places on the political landscape. He participated in a Tea Party debate last year and has run unsuccessfully as a member of the Green Party for the Arlington County Council.
He describes himself as a "fiscally conservative progressive" who wants to cut federal spending, reform the Department of Defense, reinvigorate the nation's manufacturing sector and keep the United States out of war.
Chisholm said he understands federal spending habits well from having spent close to 24 years earning a solid income as a civil engineering consultant to the federal government and private businesses.
One of his projects involved participation in the clean up of Front Royal's Avtex Superfund site in the 1990s.
Chisholm said he does not believe in deep, abrupt cuts in federal spending. Instead, he wants to see gradual cuts made through attrition and other strategies that would dampen the effects of cuts on communities in Virginia heavily dependent on government spending.
"We could automate half the federal government if we wanted to," he said.
He said he is also deeply familiar with the Pentagon and considers it a ripe target for budget reforms focused on cutting fuel consumption.
"The Department of Defense uses 93 percent of the fuel in the federal government," Chisholm said. "We need to make more of an effort to reduce that. It's more than ironic and sad that the reason we've been at war is our use of fuels, and it's not getting any better."