By ANDREW SCHOTZ
6:15 PM EDT, November 4, 2011
Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of profiles about candidates running for election in the 6th Congressional District.
For years, U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., has championed the concept of "peak oil," that oil is a finite resource and becoming scarcer, so the United States needs to figure out a new approach to energy.
Brandon Orman Rippeon, who is challenging Bartlett in the next Republican primary, disagrees.
"There is no such thing as peak oil until we've had peak technology," said Rippeon, who wrote his master's thesis on the U.S. petroleum reserve. "There is more petroleum than ever before."
He favors ramping up domestic oil production, which, he said, would put more Americans to work.
That's a stark contrast between Rippeon, a resident of Darnestown in Montgomery County, Md., and Bartlett, who has filed to seek an 11th two-year term in the 6th District.
Rippeon is one of four Republicans who have filed to challenge Bartlett in a primary. The others are Robert Coblentz, Robin Ficker and Joseph T. Krysztoforski.
On the Democratic side, state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola has kicked off his campaign and former Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg has said she is running.
Primaries will be April 3, 2012. The general election will follow on Nov. 6.
Rippeon, 39, said he thinks Bartlett, 85, has done a good job for the district and is well-respected.
But, "it's time for new leadership," he said. "I really believe we need a fresh set of legs."
Rippeon said his main focus is creating more jobs and stimulating the economy.
A good place to start, he said, is simplifying the tax code, making businesses feel more comfortable in investing and more secure about their future.
Rippeon considers illegal immigration "the moral issue of my generation," as well as an economic concern.
He said he favors expanding the circular migration work visa program. People who are not U.S. citizens can come to this country to work for a season, then return to their home countries. Their families do not come to the U.S. with them.
"It relieves so much of the dependency that's placed on the taxpayer," he said.
In this way, immigration is based on skill sets, how people who come to the U.S. can benefit this country, he said.
Rippeon said English should be designated as America's national language, the U.S. should have a border fence and children born in this country shouldn't automatically become U.S. citizens.
Rippeon said he received the highest rating of any candidate running in Montgomery County last year from Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group.
He said his support for fiscal responsibility, a free market, empowerment of the individual and limited government matches the group's philosophies.
Rippeon said it's also "the true conservative position to immediately wind up the war in Afghanistan."
Candidate at a glance
Name: Brandon Orman Rippeon
Date of birth: Feb. 22, 1972
Address: lives in Darnestown in Montgomery County, Md.
Education: received bachelor's degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., in 1994 and master's degree in public administration/public policy from The American University of Paris in France in 2010
Occupation: full-time candidate; former managing partner/general manager of Ourisman Automotive in metropolitan Washington, D.C., area
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: ran unsuccessfully for at-large seat on Montgomery County Council in 2010
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