When Matthew Molyett, a cybersecurity contractor, tried to bring some of his ideas to the attention of his elected representatives, he said, he felt completely turned away.
Molyett said he wrote his representatives in Congress with concerns about the U.S. getting involved in Syria. Met with what he felt were generic letters, Molyett, 27, said he decided to take action.
“I decided the only way go about effecting solid change, to address problems, is to instead be the Congressman,” he said.
Molyett, of Elkridge, is running for Congress in Maryland’s Third District against U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes of Towson in the June 24 Democratic primary. Charles Long, Mike Jackson and Thomas E. “Pinkston” Harris are running for the GOP nomination for the seat.
Molyett, his wife Melissa, and their two children live in Elkridge.
Originally from Ohio, Molyett came to Maryland to work for the National Security Administration. Through his work, Molyett said, he noticed that the law often stood between the public and security on the Internet.
“The directions of Congress have been entirely away from building solid, secure networks and instead to looking into anti-piracy and censorship,” he said.
Such laws prevent students from researching and identifying cyber weaknesses that can be fixed — weaknesses that criminals exploit, he said.
Molyett said he can provide a solid technical perspective in Congress, as well as constituent service he feels is lacking.
Molyett said he’d ensure that all constituents get a genuine response from their representative, even if that cuts into the Congressman’s sleep time, he said.
“It wouldn’t be a plan that could reasonably lead to a nice 30 to 40 years doing this, because of the amount of drain on you,” he said. “But if you are trying to understand and represent almost 1 million people, that should be extremely draining on you. It’s service.”
Molyett has a strong position on marijuana, too. He favors the repeal of federal prohibitions, allowing states to determine how to regulate and tax it.
According to his campaign website, Molyett believes federal agencies should not decide when to enforce the law, which is the current approach on marijuana.
He also said he would work to reform immigration by addressing the employers who hire undocumented workers, not the workers themselves.
Helping immigrants who want to work helps the community, he said. Targeting employers that generate a demand for undocumented labor is the way to stop the increase in illegal immigration, according to his campaign platform.
Unlike Sarbanes, Molyett is not actively raising money by knocking on doors or holding fundraisers, but people can donate on his website.
He takes issue with Sarbanes’ focus on the power of money in politics.
“That whole mindset, I feel, contributes strongly to the lack of faith that we have in our Congressional representatives because it assumes the only value that somebody who is not in Congress can provide is by making a donation,” he said.
Molyett said voters need to decide if they want change or the status quo.
“I’m different and I’ve got good solid ideas,” he said. “If [voters] don’t vote for me, we are going to see our [district] get a full decade under the same person. And the question needed to be asked is: Is the behavior of Congress over the last decade what we want to continue seeing? If the answer is no, the only option is to change Congress because we are not seeing Congress change itself.”