One man’s loss signifies the ever ongoing push for change in political spaces.
Last year, Brian Sims was re-elected as one of Pennsylvania’s state Representatives. In addition, Malcolm Kenyatta was elected as a member of Pennsylvania’s state House of Representatives. Then last month, we introduced you to Adrian Rivera-Reyes who’s running for Philly City Council.
But what does Congressional hopeful Joe Moralez have that’s different from all the rest. He’s a proud conservative Republican… and he lost his race.
26-year-old Joe Moralez is a black, gay Republican from Milton, Pennsylvania who works as a nursing agency executive. Despite never holding public office before, Moralez wanted to use his unique voice to represent Pennsylvania from a countrywide level.
“I am pro-life, pro-small government, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-wall,” he told local news source The Daily Item. “I believe in a simple tax structure, and I am a supporter of a flat tax that is fair for all.”
Earlier this year, former U.S. Rep Tom Marino announced his sudden retirement from the position due to health reasons, according to the Morning Call. He decided to leave office after a kidney problem required surgery. This is the latest in a series of fights with kidney cancer for the former Congressman.
After Marino’s announcement, a special election is being held to replace his empty 12th congressional district seat. The Republican Party of Pennsylvania came together on March 2nd to nominate a Republican candidate for the upcoming special election. While Moralez put his name in the hat, he unfortunately lost to PA State Rep. Fred Keller by a landslide.
Perhaps Joe Moralez’s failure was in running for a congressional seat as his first bid for political office. That said, his message during election was one that spoke truth towards the changing political environment in the U.S.A.
"Our party is at a crossroads," he said to the Daily Item. "We need to expand our base and diversify."
“Any Republican at all holding this office is going to be great, going to be fine, but I think we need to move in a more diverse manner,” Joe Moralez told TheDCNF in a phone interview. “We need young, ambitious individuals in all aspects of our government. We need to be strategic. We can’t hand the position over to the typical person who comes to mind.”
True to Moralez's words, America is starting to see the rise in millennials running for political office. From Kenyatta’s win listed above to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Zach Wahls, who defended his two moms before winning a political seat in Iowa himself, marine-turned-Alabama-state-rep Neil Rafferty, Gabriel Acevero who became the first black man elected to the Maryland Assembly, and more.
It appears that diversity is a major factor for many millennials hoping to run for office. This includes the conservative minded Moralez. In fact, the most surprising thing is not where he disagrees with his fellow Pennsylvanians like Malcolm Kenyatta but what he agrees on. Specifically, a need for change in how politicians are paid.
“I’ve always thought our elected officials have a job to do,” he told TheDCNF. “They’re supposed to work on behalf of us, and I think they’re dramatically overpaid for all the gridlock that occurs. It’s mind-boggling. You’re not only elected to do this, but you’re being paid a ridiculous amount to do it. If you’re not going to do your job, you shouldn’t be paid for it.”
"I believe that public servants, like congressman and senators, should not be paid," Moralez explained further to the Daily Item. "This is why if I were to be elected, I would only use part of my salary for traveling to D.C., lodging, and meals while working. The remainder of my salary would be donated back to nonprofits in the 'Mighty 12th.'"
If even a Republican nominee who’s “pro-life, pro-small government, pro-Second Amendment, and pro-wall” is approaching Congress with claims to fight the large wage of his would-be peers, it looks like Congress is just a few years away from a major upset.
But will said peers take this change lying down?