Michael Cortney knows his chances of winning the 3rd Congressional District seat are slim. But if he beats the odds, Cortney says he wants to give the ordinary citizen a voice.
“I am grateful that I was able to retire at 60, and I was able to retire at 60 because of the people who went before me and fought for me,” he said.
Cortney, a 62-year-old former journeyman wireman, is running as a Republican.
He’s not totally new to politics. Cortney said he volunteered for the Jim Santini and Chris Hecht campaigns in the 1980s, and later for Ross Perot’s presidential bid in 1992.
“After that fiasco, I found myself less involved in politics,” Cortney said.
Originally from Nebraska, Cortney said he immediately joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school. When his four years were up, he moved to Las Vegas nd started learning his trade.
He found himself in Vancouver thanks to his late wife, who had family here. Cortney said he retired two years ago with plans to travel the country alongside his wife, Lisa Cortney. When she died last year, he opted to re-evaluate his plans.
“I would like to take the life that I have now and serve the people of my district,” he said. “I would like to give them their voice in Congress.”
The biggest issue at hand for Cortney is money in politics and how it is “turning this country into an oligarchy.”
“The fact that there is a great divide in this country between the South and rural America, and the rest of America,” he said. “That with advancements in communications and transportation, the world has become too small for intolerance, and if our children are going to live in peace, we need to find our better selves.”
At the core, he added, is religion.
“I have the advantage of not being a very good politician,” Cortney said. “Did I mention the money in politics?”