3rd Congressional Candidate Byrd: Let’s Overcome Political Polarization | Government and politics
Chris Byrd of Toutle, an independent race to represent the 3rd congressional district, decided to throw his name into the candidate pool after being exhausted by his extreme political polarization.
“I don’t think it’s beneficial for our future,” he said.
The high school social studies teacher said the partisan political environment is detrimental to the region’s growth and presents an obstacle to addressing its challenges. Byrd takes the position of a mediator seeking to mend the political divide, as he believes the solution to most problems is to unite political parties, although he does not yet know how he will do this.
Byrd called his campaign approach unconventional.
Before tackling issues like inflation and climate change, he wants to change the way policymakers discuss them.
“My goal is to kind of experiment with a social media campaign and see how many people I can reach with my message and see if it takes off,” Byrd said. “I hope to at least make a difference and try to change the conversation.”
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The candidate is trying to reach as many people as possible in southwest Washington ahead of the Aug. 2 primary election. He will use social media platforms, such as Twitter and TikTok, and make cold calls to connect with around 500 people a day. until the elections. Meanwhile, Byrd plans to compile a list of voters’ top concerns and then figure out how to address them in a bipartisan way.
Collectively, Byrd’s challengers have raised millions in campaign finance, according to the Federal Election Commission. Byrd wants to squeeze money out of politics completely, going so far as not to hold fundraising events for his campaign.
Compared to other candidates in the race, Byrd doesn’t have much money or public support. However, he throws out a Hail Mary and will be delighted if he influences people with his message.
“I want my own children to know that you can strive for your goals, so I’m going to do my best,” he said. “I have two months to do it.
Avoid political tags
Byrd remembers struggling to breathe when he walked out as smoke from a wildfire engulfed the area. He noted how steadily rising temperatures are hurting key resources, such as fish, in southwest Washington. These climatic events are devastating, the candidate said, and the possibility of them getting worse is frightening.
Despite these concerns, Byrd has been unable to relay state and federal initiatives he supports that would address this underlying problem. Instead, he wants to focus on how to unite opposing viewpoints and avoid getting stuck in a certain position.
Byrd’s neutral approach and attempts to appeal to all political perspectives can also be applied to the discussion of public safety.
“Right now, law enforcement is in an extremely difficult situation in our country. They need to be supported,” he said. “That also includes that other side than the people who, you know, might see the negative side of some of these enforcement issues.”
In 2018, an independent investigator found Byrd failed to properly follow district policies and procedures when he was principal of Toutle Lake High School, according to the (Longview) Daily News report. The incident involved members of the school’s basketball team exhibiting sexually graphic and offensive behavior towards the players’ mothers, The Daily News wrote. The investigator found that the complaint had been mishandled.
“At the time, I did what I thought I had to do according to procedure,” Byrd said. “At the end of the day, some things should have been handled differently.”
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series of candidate profiles for Washington’s 3rd congressional district. Each candidate who agreed to be interviewed will be profiled. Find all the profiles on www.columbian.com/news/tag/3rd-congressional.