One Texan is looking to use voter data and a platform full of liberty-minded principles to win a seat in the U.S. Senate this year.
Neal Dikeman, a Houston venture capitalist and Libertarian nominee for the U.S. Senate, says that he is ready to take his decades of business experience to Washington for the people of Texas. Dikeman has experience in the energy, finance and technology sectors, and believes that it puts him in a unique position to serve the people of Texas.
"Somebody with a track record had to stand up and hold people accountable," Dikeman said. "That's me."
The Libertarian says that the 2016 election inspired him to get involved and run for the seat currently held by Republican powerhouse Ted Cruz. However, Dikeman says that he believes that he matches up with the views of Texans better than Cruz or his Democratic challenger, Congressman Beto O'Rourke.
"Both of these guys are from Washington," Dikeman said. "Ted is a government lawyer and Beto was at a business smaller than my startups, he got on the city council, then he got to the House of Representatives. While these guys have been there, spending and debt is up and revenue has not kept pace. Over the next ten years, there will be $100,000 in new debt for every American family. I don't want to saddle my five-year-old with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt before she even does anything and I'm not okay with Ted or Beto doing it either."
Additionally, the Texas Libertarian says that he believes that his campaign will follow the trend of recent Texas Libertarian campaigns, based on his research.
"2014 and 2016 were record years for Libertarians," Dikeman said. "Texas has a high number of straight-ticket voters, but in 2016 [railroad commission nominee] Mark Miller won one out of six unaffiliated voters. This will be new though because we haven't had a campaign where a Libertarian executive was running who put enough resources behind his campaign to have a shot."
Looking forward to his priorities, the venture capitalist says that he plans to focus on the budget and spending, the passage of a National Privacy Protection Act and healthcare issues. Dikeman says that healthcare has a special importance to him, as he currently views the state of healthcare as flawed.
"There is no moral way that your healthcare should be tied to your job," Dikeman said. "If you can't control your healthcare, then you can't switch jobs. Neither party was willing to go to bat for Texans during the healthcare debate. I will."
On the hot topic of new gun purchasing and ownership restrictions in the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting, Dikeman says that he does not support new restrictions on the Second Amendment.
"I approach this from a Constitutional basis," Dikeman said. "The Founders viewed the Constitution as a state-to-state deal. If you read Madison's writings, it's clear that he expected an armed citizenry."
Dikeman says that while he does not support restrictions on gun ownership, the debate has hit close to home for him, as he has young children.
"This issue pains me because I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old," Dikeman said. "We need to figure this out as a society."
While Dikeman says that he knows this election will be an uphill climb, he believes that his platform will speak to all Texans who are looking for a candidate who will hold government accountable.
"We are all in this together," Dikeman said. "Libertarians talk about liberty and the Non Aggression Principle and that's why we believe in a strong national defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Government is a necessary evil but it needs to stay in its lane."
If you would like to find out more about Dikeman, please visit https://www.facebook.com/NealDikemanforSenate/.