Pike resident considers Marino challenge; Nick Troiano seeks community-supported campaign
MILFORD, PA — Just 24 years old, Nick Troiano is no stranger to the limelight. He has been active in various causes, most recently as the organizer of a Generational Equity Tour, which was organized to “educate and engage young Americans on the issues of the federal budget and the growing national debt.”
Now, Troiano is exploring running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a citizen-funded, independent candidate from the 10th Congressional District in this year’s election.
“I’m considering stepping forward as a candidate for Congress because America deserves better than politicians who are more concerned about their next election than the next generation,” Troiano said.
His press materials contained a memo from political advisor Russ Verney, who was a top advisor to Ross Perot and his independent campaign to become president in 1992. The memo says that Congressman Tom Marino, who currently holds seat in the district, is more vulnerable than he might appear.
Verney argues that candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties are too beholden to special interests to adequately represent voters, and an independent candidate who has sufficient resources to get his message out has a reasonable chance of winning.
Verney writes, “Marino, a committed member of the decreasingly popular Tea Party, may very well represent a majority of the conservative base of the Republican Party that votes in the Republican primary, but it is unlikely that he well represents the majority of the overall electorate that votes in the general election in the district.”
Troiano said he first began thinking about a run for the office last fall when he was on the Generational Equity Tour, which was an attempt to engage mostly young people and talk to them about how so-called mandated programs are eating up most of the federal budget, and there is a lack of investment in areas like education, research and infrastructure, which will have a negative impact on the future.
While he was on tour, the government shutdown occurred, he said, “mostly because the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act,” or Obamacare. He said, “To me that is sort of the epitome of what a dysfunctional democracy looks like. My congressman not only supported the shutdown, he was opposed to the bipartisan compromise to reopen the government, and that’s when it sort of clicked that young people need to be doing much more than just advocating on the issues they care about, young people need to start getting involved directly in our electoral process.”
Troiano’s involvement means he has formed an exploratory committee, and though he is a life-long Republican, he will not seek the Republican or Democratic nomination but will run as an independent. He will not seek funding through political action committees or corporations but through his website, www.NickTroiano.com, he will seek direct individual contributions and support. He hopes to meet a goal of $25,000 and 1,000 supporters. He said reaching that goal will show there is enough support to support the launch of a full-fledged campaign.
Troiano is a Pike County native and in 2007 he was the student body president of Delaware Valley High School. He graduated with a master’s degree in American government from Georgetown University in 2013.