Alabama’s U.S. 5th Congressional District seat is up for grabs, and old and new faces are in the running.
Current representative Mo Brooks is running for United States Senate, and eight candidates – six Republicans and two Democrats - are seeking to replace him.
On the Republican side, the candidates include Andrew Blalock, John Roberts, Paul Sanford, Dale Strong, Casey Wardynski and Harrison Wright. Democrats Charlie Thompson and Kathy Warner-Stanton are running in the Democrat primary.
As the May 24th primary gets closer, 1819 News will be profiling candidates for the 5th Congressional seat.
Wardynski arguably has more experience in the federal government than any of his opponents.
A West Point graduate, Wardynski served over 30 years in the U.S Army in multiple capacities. He was responsible for Army personnel policy and supervision of the Army’s 1.3 million-person manpower program. He also supervised the development of a $450 billion five-year defense program for the Army. Under the Trump administration, he served as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
In an interview with 1819 News, Wardynski laid out the main points of his political philosophy and how that will dictate his legislative policy in Washington D.C.
“The main thread has to be liberty; we have to protect liberty,” Wardysnki said. "We have to protect it from the accumulation of power by large corporations and government. We have to protect it against undue influence from these woke elements, in corporate and government. We cannot infringe on people’s constitutional rights, and they are being infringed upon, and they’re under attack every day.
He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Frederick S. Pardee Rand Graduate School.
Wardynski served as a professor of economics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for 15 years.
After graduating from West Point, Wardysnki’s first assignment was in Huntsville, where he attended the nuclear weapons school.
Following assignments in Europe during the Cold War, he returned to Huntsville before being assigned to various areas across the nation during his long career. He has been a permanent Huntsville resident since 2004.
Wardysnki was in charge of addressing the massive lack of recruit retention and replenishment that the Army is experiencing. He applied market strategies of talent management to take a more modernized approach to military recruiting. In the Army, he created the first Army People Strategy aimed at acquiring, developing, employing and retaining Army personnel.
“We’re about 20,000 people behind this year, which is equivalent to more than an Army division,” Wardynski said.
"[The Army] really needs to redeploy their recruiting force and approach," said Wardynski. "They are kind of fixated on 1980 when the Army became successful in the voluntary Army business; that kind of locked down how they thought about the business – which is a high school graduate, not college-bound… So, they’ve limited themselves to going after a very small pool of people through their approach.”
Additionally, Wardynski served as the superintendent for Huntsville schools from 2011-2016, so he has special knowledge of the goings-on within Alabama's education system.
“… The Department of Education is a threat to liberty; I saw it when I was superintendent," said Wardynski. "I saw it in the transgender space, the conveyance of grants to teach the 1619 Project. The liberty of families to bring their children up according to their values, and not have them indoctrinated in school, is under attack.”
Wardynski discussed, at length, the government programs he believes have accumulated far too much power and become a threat to Americans’ freedom.
“I think the ATF and Homeland Security are a threat to liberty,” Wardynski said. “They have identified Americans and extremism as the number one threat to national security, and I know all about it. We had 36 people out of 1.3 million in the Army that we were watching as extremists; all low-level stuff, all kind of crackpot kind of stuff; no way, no how, were they the number one threat to national security. But now Homeland Security and the ATF are targeting Americans along with the FBI’s National Security Division; they’ve identified parents going to school boards as a problem.
“The IRS is a threat to liberty; it’s become a domestic intelligence agency. Their vision of what they ought to do is pretty frightening. They wanted transactions accumulating to $600 to be reported to the IRS and monitored. I don’t need the government involved in my checkbook. That’s a threat to my liberty and my privacy.”
Wardynski is a staunch pro-life candidate. He claims to have never wavered in his support for the unborn and that he will support only qualified judges who believe that life begins at conception.
He also announced his support for the recent draft from the Supreme Court of the United States, which would strike down Roe v. Wade, should the opinion move forward as drafted.
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is excellent news," Wardysnki said. "Protecting life, which begins at conception, is essential. This puts the fight for life back into the hands of the American people through their elected representatives, and if they ever wanted abortion on demand, it never would have made it to SCOTUS. The leak itself demonstrates how liberals will go to any extremes to burn down our system of government.”
Wardynski said he is also a big fan of former President Donald Trump, whom he believes was pivotal in exposing many of the dangers within government and culture.
“I think he pulled back the veil on a lot of stuff that was going on in Washington that people had no idea on,” Wardynski said. “We now find the FBI, CIA, and elements of the Department of Defense are highly problematic with regard to liberty and the constitutional process.
“… I’m a big fan of just about everything he did in the national security arena, and I thought he did pretty good with the economy too.”
Wardynski finds himself very much in line with Congressman Mo Brooks, whose seat he is attempting to fill, though he intends to take a different approach to certain aspects of the job.
“In many, many areas, we’re aligned,” Wardynski said. "I would probably take a little different approach to advocacy in the district. Having been in the Department of the Army and the executive branch for so long, I’m real familiar with where the Army is headed and have a pretty good idea of what screws to turn. I do believe Alabama has a terrific workforce, and the country is best served when we take advantage of the workforce to do the nation’s work on defense and space projects.”
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