Editor’s Note: The Interview took place via zoom on 12/16/21.
Garrit: Can you introduce yourself?
Jonathan: Yes. My name is Jonathan Mitchell. I’m running for Texas Congressional District 8. I’m a pipefitter and not a politician. Ever since I was out of high school, I’ve been a pipefitter. I love being in the oil and gas industry. I’m a blue-collar man and one of the common folk. I got fed up with the federal government and everything happening, so I decided to throw my name into the ring. To backtrack to January, I started talking about joining the race against Kevin Brady. I had to do a lot of thinking about that. I went ahead and filed with the FEC and got on the ballot. Now, I did enter the ballot as an independent because I’m a Constitutional conservative. I believe in the Constitution more than any party affiliation. I believe that the Constitution comes first. So, I entered the race as an independent, and then a week after I entered the race, Kevin Brady announced his retirement. So, I went ahead and switched over to the Republican primary. I knew that if I entered the race as a Republican, with Kevin Brady still in, then I would have been swept under the rug. At first, I tried to get into the Constitution Party primary. However, they don’t have legal grounds here in Texas. It’s been an uphill battle. I have no background in politics. I wear every hat in my campaign. I had a campaign manager. However, her son got sick. So I told her to step away from the campaign and worry about her son because family comes first. So, I’m in the fight.
Garrit: Yeah. How do you think your background as a blue-collar worker will transfer over to serving as a congressman?
Jonathan: So, while working as a pipeliner, I have been in charge of projects working six days a week. At work, I found out the issues and how we would fix them. That’s how I am about running for office and knowing the problems here in America. I’m going to put that into the federal office by simply finding out what regulations are hurting us. I want to restrict government overreach and go back to the 10th amendment. So, that’s how I will bring my work life and what I do on a pipeline to the federal office. I will find out what is hurting Americans and what we can do to get better legislation. So, I’ll go with it by attacking each issue, figuring out the problems, and fixing them. I don’t want both purposes bills; I want single issues so that we know what’s in the bill. So we can pass it and get things moving instead of going through an infrastructure bill that is 2700 pages. There is no reason for a bill to be that way. But that’s how they throw things in there and get something passed. I’m not for that. I’m not for anything that goes against our Constitution. So, right out of the gate, I want to introduce to the House a bill that would let Americans know where their politicians stand on these issues. We need to get to work. We’re so far behind the Democratic Party right now that we don’t have the luxury of sitting back. We have to hit the ground running. We’ve been forgotten about. I know that regulations are hurting us. So, that’s how I will take my blue-collar experience and transfer it over to the political world.
Garrit: Why are you running for Congress?
Jonathan: The ultimate reason that got me in is back in January. I was on a project for a gas company down in Corpus. I was finishing up all these little projects that they had going on, and they said, “Hey, we’re going to send you home for about three weeks, four weeks max, and we won’t have you back until the beginning of February at the latest for our next project.” So, that gave me a little bit of a break. However, the current administration took office and shut down the Keystone Pipeline during that time. I wasn’t on Keystone. However, that’s 10’s of 1000’s of jobs that were destroyed right off the bat. That did affect other pipeline projects that were starting—including my job. So, my job got pushed out, and I wasn’t too sure what would happen. So, that scared me. Whenever you threaten a person’s livelihood, there’s no distance measurement as to how far they would go to provide for their family. I didn’t see anyone in office fighting for blue-collar men and women. I didn’t see anyone fighting to help the oil and gas industry, keep our jobs here, and keep these projects going. So, that’s what made me run—my whole livelihood was threatened. I had no other way to turn, and this was the only way I could think of making things better. Due to them shutting down the Keystone Pipeline, we went from being independent on oil and gas to being dependent on foreign oil and paying OPEC fees. That affects many of us, and now we’re seeing that today with inflation. It’s insane.
Garrit: So, you’re also not the only one in this race. You have quite a few Republicans running in Congressional District 8. You have two apparent front runners—Morgan Luttrell and Christian Collins. Luttrell has Dan Crenshaw, and Christian Collins has the backing of Senator Ted Cruz. So, why should the voters vote for you, and how do you convince Republican voters to support you over Collins or Luttrell?
Jonathan: I like to say look into each candidate’s campaign and see who’s funding and endorsing them. Now, Luttrell is a nice guy. I talked to Luttrell the other day. He is charming to be around, and I can’t speak ill about him. However, I can say that Luttrell is getting backed by Dan Crenshaw. Over these last couple of years, we realized Dan Crenshaw is for red flag laws and a vaccine database. He believes that it’s a pipe dream for any of us to believe that there’s anything wrong with the 2020 election. So, he’s starting to come out as a RINO. On the Collins side. Again, I can’t speak badly of him. Now, we all know the issues there with Ted Cruz. He wasn’t on the radar until he ran against Trump. However, he still fights hard because he’s showing us that he is conservative, but there are still some issues there. So, to sway voters my way, I can point out that I’m actually blue-collar. I know what it’s like to be a common folk because I am common. I work six days a week while campaigning. So, not only do I know how hard it is to campaign, but I’m also out here getting my name out just as hard as the guys who are campaigning full time. So, being blue-collar, I don’t have the establishment backing other candidates might have. I haven’t set myself up to be a politician either. I know what it’s like to be forgotten. I know the issues that we’re facing. I know the folks that are meeting these regulations. I know firsthand what that’s like. With me being out in the field every day, working, and living that life, I better understand what it’s actually like. I’m totally against being a career politician. I’m against the establishment. I’m against all that public. I want to restore the Constitution and bring back those conservative views. I feel like our Republican Party has lately disenfranchised many working-class people. The Republican Party disenfranchises us. We became the “do-nothing party.” unfortunately. We’re seeing where Republicans like Dan Crenshaw are getting more into social media and the TV limelight instead of doing their job. They’re more focused on being famous and being out there in front of everybody instead of doing things to help the American people. So, I pride myself coming from a different background than the two frontrunner candidates. I know things need to change, and I know what needs to happen.
Garrit: With you being a political outsider, what has been the reaction to your campaign, and how has the campaign been going for you?
Jonathan: I think it’s been going very well. The only reason I say that is because one Sunday is my campaign day. So, I’ll go to church, go throughout the community, and find what churches are out there. I go there to meet the voters. I want to go to church with the voters. I might go on Sunday or a few Sundays in the future. I’ll go back and revisit their churches. So, the most challenging part for me, though, is not being able to get funding. So, sometimes I work six days. From September to the beginning of December, I’m driving back and forth from home to work. I wake up at 4 am, and I’ll go out here and work 10-12 hours a day. Then, I’ll drive back, another two to two and a half hours, home. I mean, I am the campaign manager, the treasurer, and the candidate. But I will say this; campaigning has shown me that you have to have thick skin to be in this race.
Garrit: So, with your experience working in the oil industry, what do you think needs to be done to protect the oil industry from the federal intervention?
Jonathan: Well, I want to deregulate what we have set in place right now. Especially when they were giving more subsidies to green energy, now, green energy has its place. I don’t think it’s right now, but it does have its place. However, we can’t even get Air Force One off the ground with solar power. So, we have to continue going with oil. I want to stop buying oil from overseas and start drilling here in America. I want to start the Keystone Pipeline back up again. There’s no reason for the federal overreach like they did. Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline when it’s already been approved by the Trump administration. So, I would like to get the government out of the way, get back to the free market, deregulate, and get back to being energy independent.
Garrit: So, you’ve made the Second Amendment a big issue for your campaign. So, what are your thoughts on red flag laws?
Jonathan: So, I’m not for it at all. There is no good red flag. You don’t get due process, you didn’t commit a crime, and they come in and take your guns. I’m totally against that. I want to abolish the ATF and NFA and repeal the GCF. We can’t have government organizations like the ATF micromanaging the American people. So, they need to be abolished.
Garrit: Do you think there is any room for any form of gun regulation—even background checks?
Jonathan: No, indeed. The only background check I can see—and I’m not really for this—is making sure that a felon is not getting a firearm. I can understand that. I am not a big fan of that, but that would be the only kind of legislation I’ll be okay with. Other than that, everything’s off the table for me.
Garrit: You’ve also expressed interest in abolishing the IRS. So, what exactly do you think needs to be done regarding taxes?
Jonathan: With taxes, I would like to team up with Congressman Carter out of Georgia. He introduced HR25, which is the fair tax plan. I’ve signed the pledge. I’m 100% for it. I used to be for the flat tax; however, we will still have the IRS with a flat tax because that would be going after our income. The fair tax will abolish the IRS, the $13.6 billion budget on top of that, making it where taxpayers are not getting audited by the federal government. Every one of us, right now, is being audited. So, with the fair tax, that will be eliminated. It would also eliminate capital gains, income, and the death tax. It will abolish all revenues except for sales tax.
Garrit: You also talked about how you want to bring jobs back to America. So, do you support the tariffs that Trump instituted during his presidency?
Jonathan: So, I do. However, there’s a slight issue with that as well. I see both sides of it. Before the tariffs, I believe the steel was around $600 to $700. Right now, or they were at least a few months ago, steel is about $1,700 to $1,800. So, with tariffs, the price skyrocketed tripled in pricing for the ton of steel. So, it is a double-edged sword for me on the tariffs because I see how the tariffs affect me as a pipeliner.
Garrit: If you are elected, how will you take on the establishment?
Jonathan: That’s a tough one. I would like to shake their hands and find out who they are and where they’re coming from. Before I can even try to take them, I have to see how they’re thinking. I also want to call out every single one that’s the establishment. I want to call out their plans. I will do everything that I can to get them removed from office. We have to replace the establishment with patriots.
Garrit: Do you have any final thoughts as we end the interview?
Jonathan: So, one is the vaccine mandates because that’s such a big issue. It’s an issue even on my side of things. I was talking to another inspector today, and when he was hired out with his consulting firm, they told him that the CEO of the consulting firm wanted to do the mandate. My biggest fear was that, since they’re so liberal in Austin, they’re going to enforce these mandates. I’ve asked them about it, and their only response is, “we’re not sure but what can you do about it.” Honestly, there’s a lot I can do about it—I can quit. I don’t have to do the mandates, and I will never do the mandates. They’re unconstitutional. We need to protect, especially, our first responders. There’s no reason to mandate this vaccine. I’d rather die fighting on my feet than live forever begging on my knees to a tyrannical government. It’s going to take more than one of us to take on this fight. We have to stand together and do things. We can’t cower down. We don’t have to be their test subjects. So, that’s where I’m at.
Editor’s Note: Check out Jonathan Mitchell’s website at jonathanmitchellforcongress.com.