You can't paint Gary Bryant into one of the polarized corners American politics have retreated into the past few years.
As the candidate for the Libertarian nomination for the 3rd District Assembly race, Bryant is hoping his mixed bag of working man's logic and social acceptance can get him past incumbent Republican Dan Logue.
Bryant has no known opposition within the party, and he will also face off in November against a Democratic challenger as well. At this point, that could be Christina Billeci of Yuba County or Mickey Harrington of Butte County.
"I'm a hard-working, blue collar, small business owner," Bryant said in a recent interview.
"When you're in the free market, you suffer the consequences for bad choices. No one bails me out," the floor-laying contractor said.
"I was a 27-year registered Republican and I used to listen to Rush (Limbaugh) all the time, but when the Republicans began falling after the 1994 election, I became disenchanted."
He joined the Libertarian Party and is now the vice-charman of the Nevada County chapter.
"The Republicans and Libertarians have similar ideas of lower taxes and less government, but the Republicans from President Bush to our governor (Schwarzenegger) became fiscally irresponsible," Bryant said.
"If you're going to go to war, you'd better cut back on other things," to keep the budget balanced.
Bryant's main goal is to keep government spending under control. Maintaining private property rights is also a priority, and he dislikes environmental regulations that interfere with those rights.
Bryant is opposing Proposition 14, which would establish a system in which the top two vote-getters in primary elections would run off in general elections, with no one else in the race.
"It cuts off third parties," Bryant said. "People should have the right to vote for whatever party they want to."
Socially, Bryant would like to see the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban overturned.
"People should have the right to have a contract as consenting adults," Bryant said.
"I would also love to eliminate the state income tax and go with a sales tax instead."
You can contact the Libertarian Party and Bryant at (530) 277-2666 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.