Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series of profiles about candidates for the 6th Congressional District seat seeking their parties’ nomination in the April 3 primary election.
Peter James said his concern about the nation’s money, food and energy systems is fueling his run for Congress.
“Right now, I’m actually building an open-source farming prototype using a series of robotics and renewable energy systems to take both the labor and the energy costs out of growing vegetables ...,” in an attempt to “fix the industrial food system, the sustainable energy problem and the money system,” James said.
Calling himself a “serial entrepreneur,” James is one of seven Republicans trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the April 3 GOP primary.
James ran for Congress in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District in 2008, winning the Republican primary, then losing in the general election.
Through the recent redistricting process, James’ home is now in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.
He said he has the same concerns he had four years ago, particularly about America’s money system. The idea that the federal government issues the nation’s money, as most believe, is one of “the big lies,” he said.
James, 56, of Germantown, said he aspires to do what President Andrew Jackson did — kill the national bank, which Jackson, on his death bed, called his greatest achievement.
James said he favors competing currencies, which exist in scattered parts of the country. He has set up a local currency backed by food production for his “First Fruits Farms” project.
“We’ve denominated the notes at $2, which is the retail price of a head of lettuce,” he said.
James said the “final straw” that inspired him to run this year was Bartlett’s vote for a defense authorization bill that included indefinite detainment for people suspected of terrorism.
In response, Bartlett said he thought the detainment provision had been removed.
“If that’s there, I was lied to,” he said. “I am extremely angry.”
President Obama recently released a directive clarifying that the detainment provision only applies to “non-U.S. citizens who are closely linked to al-Qa’ida” who have planned or carried out an attack on the U.S. or its allies.
James also wants to empower juries as the judges of laws and facts.
He said his father, known as Peter James and Peter Tsakanikas, his ancestral name, received patents for the first automated bowling-scorekeeping system and a telephone alphanumeric data-transmission system, which spawned text messaging.
James left college before getting a degree. He followed his desire to work in microprocessing and ended up in California, the president of a consulting company.
“I was making more money than my professors were,” he said.
James said he’s guided by the principle that a person should work for success the first half of his life and for significance the second half.
Other Republicans in the 6th Congressional District race are state Del. Kathryn L. Afzali, state Sen. David R. Brinkley, former state Del. Robin Ficker, Joseph T. Krysztoforski, Robert Coblentz and Brandon Orman Rippeon.
The Democratic field is state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, John Delaney, Dr. Milad L. Pooran, Charles Bailey and Ron Little.
Name: Peter James
Date of birth: July 16, 1955
Address: 21121 Camomile Court
Education: Attended University of Delaware for three years, but did not graduate.
Party affiliation: Republican
Political experience: Won Republican primary for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District seat in Congress in 2008; lost in general election.