It’s not every day a college student seeks to run for local government.
Alex Fidel, 22, is looking to break through that wall with plans to enter his name into the ring for mayor of Encinitas in 2014.
Fidel and his family moved from New Jersey to Encinitas when he was 13. Growing up in a conservative home it wasn’t until the 2008 elections, when he discovered Libertarian candidate Ron Paul, that he became more politically inclined.
“I think coming to the Libertarian viewpoint was kind of a rebellion…,” Fidel said. “I think the Libertarian viewpoint just means non-aggression and self ownership.”
His interest in politics peaked in 2011 when he interned for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.
Some of the biggest issues he supports and would change are laws addressing cannabis and drug enforcement, as well as limiting policing duties which he feels infringe on civil liberties.
On Fidel’s websiite, www.freeencinitas.org, he stated, “I oppose police state measures and will not allow the Dept. of Homeland Security to bribe our city with armored vehicles, bigger guns, or policy mandates. Police officers should be held accountable for civil liberty violations.”
Having never run or held public office before, Fidel doesn’t see his inexperience as a bad thing.
“Well I guess I’m not qualified, I don’t have any experience taking bribes or thinking I have the right to rule other people or anything like that,” Fidel said. “So in that sense I’m unqualified, but going back to my viewpoint I just don’t think politicians know what’s best.”
Fidel added that qualified or unqualified, he does not believe he has the right to rule other people. He said, “I think people should rule themselves and then we have a peaceful society.”
If elected into office, Fidel said he will opt out of receiving any mayoral benefits, and would only accept the equivalent of a 10-hour-a-week minimum wage job.
“(I would take) 90 percent reduced pay, and I would probably live in the mayor’s office to avoid paying rent and I wouldn’t take any of the benefits, healthcare, pension, nothing,” he said.
Fidel is not an official declared candidate as of now because the filing period isn’t until Summer of 2014. He mentioned that for now he is campaigning and fundraising.
It may seem like an ambitious venture for a young, twenty-something college student to be running for local government, but Fidel said he doesn’t think much of it.
“I mean I guess it ties into my philosophy that politicians aren’t special people, I don’t think they know what’s best, I don’t think they should have extra rights, just me being me I guess,” he said.
Fidel donned a ‘Star Wars’ themed shirt which read “Join the empire,” pictured with Storm Troopers in which he made a correlation to how he views current government.
“The difference between presidents is the difference between sith lords, Bush is Darth Maul and Obama is Darth Vader, they’re both evil, but I have light sabers.”