Chad Condit is announcing today a bold campaign for California's 10th Congressional District as an independent candidate. It's a region well-known as "Condit Country", specifically in the decades that his father, former Congressman Gary Condit, served the district.
Questions are inevitable regarding his family history. However, the younger Condit is confidently focused on distinguishing himself, in every sense of the word.
"Both of my parents have been public servants for the majority of my life, and I'm very proud of them. Regardless of what your name is, the key is going to Washington independent. "
For now his priority lies in reaching the people of "Condit Country" with a call to action: Vote independent.
"On June 5th, we have the opportunity to vote nonpartisan and send a serious message to Washington," says Chad, in an interview with IVN on Wednesday. "Let's take this opportunity, step up, and stand behind independent candidates who will represent our interests, not those of special interests or particular parties."
His problem with the political parties lie with leadership and their continued reluctance towards cooperation. However he doesn't fault party affiliated voters. He says he believes the key towards progress is focusing on solutions to issues that will benefit people of all affiliations, not only party bosses.
"My Grandmother is a Democrat, my uncle is a Republican, being independent is no offense to them," he explains. "National parties don't care about the average Democrat or the average Republican. Normal Americans, especially those in my district, don't care about partisanship, they care about issues."
If there is one thing he'd most like the residents in his district to understand it's his commitment to the people, which he "treats as a vow."
"I will go to Washington with the people of my district on my mind and in my heart. There is absolutely nothing that anyone could offer me, or threaten me with, that would make me represent anything other than interests."
"I've always been independent, regardless of party. Vote for the person, not the party. I've always felt like an independent."
The statement is reminiscent of his father's spirit and reputation as "The Middle Man".
Condit is a native of Ceres, Calif. and grew up there in the heart of the district. Being homegrown is part of his motivation for running. It's a juxtaposition from previously declared competitors, Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, Democrats Jose Hernandez and Mike Barkley, who are all transplants to the area.
"This district is my home county. I grew up here. I attended elementary school, middle school and high school here. Representing the Central Valley seems like a natural thing to do."
Growing up in the area, he says, has given him a deep understanding of the needs and priorities of residents.
"I know how important things like agriculture and water are in this region, and I don't take them lightly. We need to be treated equal to folks in the South and those in the Bay Area whenever we are dealing with the government."
Speaking on the dysfunction currently blocking progress in the nation's capitol, Condit is confident residents in his district know the value of an independent voice amongst partisan gridlock.
"If this district locks into a specific party, it doesn't work for us. Neither the RNC or the DNC cares about this district. They don't care about us. We have more leverage in DC as independents, not as sheep following the herd."
Ultimately, he believes by electing an independent in the 10th, all constituents regardless of party will send to Capitol Hill a responsive representative.
"I'm not going to have to be checking in with party folks. Only folks I'll be checking in with are folks back home. Those are the folks that matter."
Condit faces a tough challenge against two well funded major party candidates in a district that is generally believed to favor the Republican candidate, incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham.
Chad Condit's campaign aims on excelling at the grassroots level, where they believe speaking one-on-one with district residents is the best way to convey their independent message. Events will kick off this month with multiple intimate chats hosted in the community.
Then, they plan on hitting the pavements of "Condit Country", continuing the tradition of extensive precinct walking that made the family name so popular in the region for so many years.