Independent candidate certified to be placed on Nov. 4th Congressional District ballot

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Independent candidates have always had a hard time gaining traction in Alabama.

But one north Alabama candidate is hoping to change the tide.

The Alabama Secretary of State's office certified last week that Mark Bray, an aerospace engineer from Huntsville, has gathered enough signatures to run as an independent candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat.

To get on the November 4 ballot, Bray was required to collect 6,886 signatures from current registered voters in the congressional district. He said he ended up with 7,763 signers following a three-month petition drive.

Engineer Mark Bray gathered 7,022 signatures to be exact, with three days worth of petitions not even accounted for. He exceeded his goal of the necessary 6,886 signatures to qualify as an independent candidate in the race for the 5th Congressional District.

“I just felt like the thing people are crying out for is someone who represents the district,” said Bray. “The entire district, not just the party that voted him into office.”

Bray said that’s why he took on the task to go door-to-door and set up booths at events with hope the people of the Tennessee Valley would get on board.

“It’s not about me winning more seats for my party, it's about serving my district serving the people here and bringing good ideas that other people could vote for,” said Bray. “Maybe it's being naïve but I think it could work.”

Democrats and Republicans have had a stronghold on congress for decades, with only a handful of seats held by independent candidates. But Bray hopes to ride in on a surge of independent candidacies across the nation.

When he first announced his run in February, there were only five announced independents running for a federal office. Now there are more than 90 independent candidates running for seats in the U.S. House and Senate.

Bray has reached out to about 16 of those independent candidates to discuss what they could accomplish if they make it to Washington.

Part of Bray’s platform incorporates his background as an engineer, with increased focus on technology, innovation, and NASA exploration.

When it comes to education and health reform, he thinks both sides of the aisle have good ideas, and he wants to incorporate them both, picking apart the good from the bad.

“I’m not going to lie to anybody, I’m not going to run with a single line saying ‘vote for me and I’ll repeal Obamacare.’ I can’t. It’s politically undoable as long as this president’s there, and he’ll be there for at least two more years, so let’s be real,” said Bray.

“Guess what -- it’s time to do the hard work, roll up our sleeves, sit down for nine months and go through each part of the Affordable Care Act and pick apart the parts that are working and the parts that aren't working, see if we can improve them," Bray added.


  • Say What

    There is no such thing as an “independent.” Everyone has an agenda and positions on issues. When I hear someone say they are an independent I immediately know they are hiding something. I suspect that since Tea Party candidates were beaten badly in recent primaries all over the country that this is just an attempt for some of them to avoid detection and slide in under the voter’s radar!

    • Michael

      Of course. Independent just means you don’t have the political or financial backing of a party. The candidate could still be lib, con, or mod.

  • Jon Do

    Stealth Tea Party candidate? I think not.
    I looked over Bray’s web site and frankly don’t see much significant separation between Bray and the incumbent Brooks other than this questionable call to “work with Obama to make Obamacare work” (my paraphrase) will IMO *not* fly around here – the very real pain caused by Obamacare to private businesses and their workers will swamp any calls for playing around the edges (a point perhaps lost on a candidate who is currently in government work).

  • Bettye

    Why you Alabama people have to inject president Obama name in all Alabama race’s ? He is not running in these races. Win on your own merit, the president could care less about Alabama, he know there is no interest for him in Alabama Don’t beat a dead horse to death, by now everybody should be on to your tactic’s. You can’t win without talk about the president. Do you have any good moral , honest qualifications?

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