David August knows he has a steep hill to climb.
August, 52, of Point of Rocks, is running as an independent candidate in Maryland's 6th Congressional District against incumbent David Trone (D).
Although it's his first time on the ballot, he first began to develop a passion about government and the Constitution after joining the U.S. Army in 1991, August said.
“I didn't know much about what I was swearing to defend,” he said.
Born in Baltimore County, August came to Frederick County when he was stationed at Fort Ritchie, a former Army base near Sabillasville.
He wants to focus his campaign on issues including government waste, equality and fair treatment under the law for all citizens and immigration.
The government has lost the ability for its spending to be efficient or frugal, August said, and he would like to see audits of every government agency to reduce waste.
He said he would seek to submit “blind” legislation that doesn't favor one demographic group over another to help avoid the government “picking winners and losers.”
On immigration, August believes extremists on both sides are dominating the discussion, talking about either keeping everyone out or having open borders.
He supports giving so-called “Dreamers” a chance at citizenship, with a chance to move to the head of the line with military or some other type of service.
With his full-time job in IT, August said he hopes to dedicate eight to 10 hours a week to getting out into the district and meeting voters.
The 6th District includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties. Trone won his 2020 election by nearly 20 percent of the vote.
Having been both a Democrat and Republican in his life, August knows running as an independent will be a struggle, with no party machinery or money behind him.
But in today's polarized world, having a “D” or “R” next to your name automatically turns off half the voters, he said.
“We've forgotten how to have disagreements without hating each other,” he said.