Long odds have never deterred Erick Wright.
He wasn’t deterred when he walked on to the Troy University football team as an undersized defender (130 pounds, soaking wet, he said), only to earn a scholarship for his performance and heart.
Recently, Wright said he isn’t deterred by beginning his foray into politics with an ambitious goal of becoming Alabama’s Congressional Representative for District 2, running as a Democrat in one of the country’s most conservative districts.
Wright, a graduate of Demopolis High School and a resident of Montgomery, plans to challenge Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, for the District 2 seat in November.
“I am a strong believer in American greatness, and feel that if you have knowledge and know - how, you should serve the public,” Wright said.
Wright says he has a bachelor’s degree in risk management from Troy University and a master’s degree in public administration from Texas Southern University. He said he has worked in various jobs in the insurance profession until a few months ago, when he left a position at Anchor Insurance to launch a full-time Congressional campaign.
Wright supports raising the federal minimum wage and supports many of the components of the Affordable Health Care Act, two platform planks that put him at odds with Roby.
Wright said his interest in universal health care stemmed from a health scare involving his young son while at Troy University. Wright said the scare forced him “into the working world.”
“I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to afford the health care costs,” Wright said. “They’ve tried to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and it looks as if it is here to stay. We should be looking at things that can really help our district. It’s not about just being opposed to something but having real actual solutions.”
Wright said raising the minimum wage carries more advantages than disadvantages.
“When you look back at when the minimum wage has been raised, there hasn’t been a stark loss in job creation and there hasn’t been a huge swing in prices going up,” Wright said. “If Congress can raise their own pay a number of times since the minimum wage has been raised, it’s only fair.”
Wright has posted several videos from his YouTube account. Some are excerpts from media interviews and others are his own monologues. Some of Wright’s policy-oriented statements include:
» “Until we can build our nation it is impossible for us to go across the globe and nation-build elsewhere.”
» “We have to protect our eco-system and watch who we allow to come here to bring factories and manufacturing jobs because there are people that (are) bringing in Chinese representatives and things, but if the Chinese don’t have EPA standards to make sure their environment is OK, if they don’t have minimum wage, if they don’t have protection rights for their employees, what do you think they are going to do to our great state of Alabama when they get here?”
» “We need to look at lower corporate tax rates for corporations in the first five years of existence because that is normally the time they are going to take a loss.”
» “Americans’ modern-day family consists of a million different makeups and should be respected no matter how different they are.”
» Government can give us traction so we can come back out swinging for the uplift of our community and our country.”
Stephen Boyd, chief adviser for Roby’s campaign, said Roby welcomes the challenge from Wright.
“I don't know Mr. Wright personally, but I gather from his statements that he is on the liberal side when it comes to issues like ObamaCare, gun rights, and abortion. Martha is a conservative who is fighting to uphold the Second Amendment, protect the unborn, and get Alabamians relief from the burdens of ObamaCare,” Boyd said in a written statemeny to the Dothan Eagle.
Follow Lance Griffin on Twitter @EagleLance