Greg Raths signs up Saddleback College students for “Team Rath” on Oct. 31 during a visit to the campus. (Facebook – Greg Raths For Congress 2014)
A former Saddleback College student announced over the summer that he is running for a seat in the United States House of Representatives next year.
Greg Raths, a retired Marine Corps colonel, announced at the end of June that he intends to run for the 45th Congressional District seat. The seat opened up when incumbent Republican Representative John Campbell announced his retirement following the completion of his term. Campbell defeated Democratic candidate Sukhee Kang in the 2012 election with almost 60 percent of the vote.
“I feel that there is a starving for leadership in Washington,” Raths said. “The American people are fed up with the status quo. They’re fed up with all these politicians being paid off by special interest groups to run their campaigns and then having to do what (the special interest groups) tell them to do.”
Raths graduated from Saddleback in 2009 with an associate degree in Political Science, after serving almost 30 years in the Marine Corps and retiring in 2004 as a colonel. During his time in the Marine Corps, Raths flew in the F-4 Phantom out of the former El Toro Marine Corps base, and then in the F/A-18 Hornet during Operation Desert Storm. As a veteran, Raths says that he will be focused on veteran’s issues.
“Our veterans are not being treated correctly when they come back from combat,” Raths said. “There’s nothing better than a veteran who has served to know what the veteran’s issues are.”
After Operation Desert Storm, Raths served as the Chief of Staff for the White House Military Office from 1996 to 1999, acting as a liaison between the Pentagon and the White House. This experience of working in Washington D.C., along with his years in the military, are why he feels he is the strongest candidate.
“I’ve been in a leadership position, and I believe Washington needs leaders,” Raths said. “There needs to be a change, and we need to send a guy like Paul Revere on a horse and stir things up in (Washington D.C.), and that’s what I plan to do.”
If Raths is elected to the House of Representatives next year, he wants to work on cutting on the government spending money that it doesn’t have.
“The federal government, and the federal bureaucracy is so bloated, and so out of control with the spending of money, that I don’t even think the bureaucrats understand it,” Raths said. “Our country was founded as a republic with a small central government. The government is supposed to take care of the national security of the country, provide for common defense, and to print common money for all the states. It’s grown into this enormous hog, or pig, that’s just getting fatter and fatter. Unfortunately it’s gotten so out of hand, we’re spending money we don’t have.”
According to Ballotpedia.org, Raths is one of four candidates to have formally declared their intent to run for the congressional seat. John Moorlach, the Second District Supervisor on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, state senator Mimi Walters, and local businessman Pat Maciariello are the other three candidates for the position.
Raths remains confident in his campaign and wants to make a difference in Washington D.C.
“My number one concern is to go to Washington, and be a figure like Ted Cruz,” Raths said. “You know, a young buck who can get there and make changes.”