Chris Gibson simultaneously retired from a 24-year career in the U.S. Army and formally announced he was running on the Republican ticket for Congress in the 20th Congressional District in 2010. At an announcement ceremony before family and friends on Friday, March 5, at his home in Kinderhook in Columbia County, Gibson said he was happy to be home and was eager to begin the next chapter in his life.
This chapterwhich would require him to score the endorsement from the Republican Committee of Saratoga County by March 31could eventually land him in Washington DC if he succeeds in unseating current Congressman Scott Murphy, a democrat.
To do this, he said he will combine his experience on the battlefield with his knowledge of American politics to win over Republicans, Independents and Democrats `looking for a better way.`
`I’ve been tested under fire and come through every time. I’ve got first-hand executive experience, having commanded at the Platoon, Company and Brigade level in the army, I have infantry background, taught American politics at West Point and served on Capitol Hill as a congressional fellow for a year-and-a-half,` said Gibson in an interview with the Spotlight. `I have a proven leadership record and the knowledge and experience in the political system to bring positive change.`
Gibson, who was deployed seven times and took four combat tours of Iraq, said he will draw on his experiences in Kosovo, Iraq and most recently Haiti and use the appreciation he’s gained for base line economic activity and governmental structures to help the country move forward. This passion he’s cultivated for his country and politics is the reason he decided to run for Congress.
`I’m passionate about my country, having defended it for 24 years and I look out and am concerned about the direction of our country. I want to be personally involved in helping to restore fiscal responsibility,` said Gibson.
The process to lower the federal government’s level of spending and stabilize the economy, he said, starts at home with local business owners and area youth.
`To decrease taxes we need to find those regulations that are duplicative and onerous on small businesses and remove them. We have to focus clearly on the economy so we can help job growth in Upstate New York and part of that is that we want to inspire our youth attending colleges in the area to stay here. We have a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,` said Gibson.
In order to focus on the economy, Gibson said he’s been talking to residents and listening to what business owners have to say. He said he hopes this approach, instead of relying on a trillion dollar stimulus plan, will be something that works.
`I’m learning a lot of interesting things by going to individual business owners and asking them specific questions like ‘what is standing in the way of your growth?’ and what I’m getting is that certainly lowering taxes will help their bottom line but there’s much concern about regulations out there that are duplicative and require the owner to file twice for certain things,` said Gibson. `Instead of spending another trillion dollars on a so called job spill that won’t work, we should remove these impediments because that’s where jobs are. If federal statutes were altered businesses will grow and they’ll reinvest their bottom line in capital and in new employees.`
Although Gibson is presently headquartered in Kinderhook, Chairman of the Republican Committee of Saratoga County Jasper Nolan said he has no concerns about Gibson’s ability to maintain visibility and a presence in the Saratoga region.
`Our [county] is one of the longest districts in the state of New York, from Essex all the way to northern Dutchess, so whoever it is that’s selected will be moving around the county all the time and I’m sure they’ll have a couple different offices in areas throughout the district,` said Nolan, who said fellow Republican hopefuls are spread out, with Dan Stec in Warren County, Patrick Ziegler in the Town of Ballston and David Harper in Saratoga.
More information about Gibson’s background and platform can be found on his campaign Web site, www.chrisgibsonforcongress.com.