Plenty of people “file” to run for Congress and won’t receive, or really warrant, any press attention. But even among that group, Reed McCandless seems to be a special case.
McCandless is challenging Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), one of the more conservative members of Congress, for the Republican nomination. It isn’t the first time. He ran against Labrador in 2012 and lost by more than 60 points.
But despite having been on the campaign trail twice in the last two election cycles, McCandless appears to made his position known on only one issue: He believes that the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks included a controlled demolition.
He made the comments Tuesday to The Coeur d’ Alene Press newspaper in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, where he was campaigning.
“It’s my responsibility to help the Republican voter become aware of some things that, to me, the Republican voter is supporting unwittingly,” McCandless told the paper.
He asserted that the American public doesn’t know what really took place in World Trade Center Building 7, a favorite point for conspiracy theorists. He also refused to reveal where he lived to the paper.
“There is no other explanation other than it was a controlled demolition,” McCandless, who works as a truck driver, continued. “I cannot expect Congress, I can’t expect the Republicans to get this right on their own. They need a push, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
What’s most interesting is that McCandless, who is declared as an official candidate, according to the Idaho Secretary of State, doesn’t seem to have taken a position publicly on any other issue despite having gone through two campaigns.
A Facebook page under the same name says McCandless lives in Moscow, Idaho, which matches his filing with the state. A request for comment was not returned.
A LexisNexis search revealed that McCandless had not done or said much of anything previously. An Associated Press wrap-up of the 2012 primary election said that he “didn’t run an active campaign, had no website and didn’t file Federal Election Commission reports.”
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Idaho interviewed McCandless in 2012, though it noted that he didn’t have a firm issues platform or explain his own views. The Idaho Statesman reported in 2012 that he declined to respond to a questionnaire or attend a debate with Labrador.
Instead, McCandless bemoaned in 2012 the “wimps” in the Republican leadership to the Daily News. He did allow that he was a fan of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
“Republican leadership doesn’t know what the hell to do and you can capitalize that. I am sick and tired of these wimps that say anything to get elected, and all they are is a rubber stamp,” he explained. “Are we suppose to take the Congress seriously? People are apathetic because they have nothing to believe in.”
Which would mean that 9/11 trutherism seems to be the first position that this two-time congressional candidate has taken. And judging by his comments to the The Coeur d’ Alene Press, it’s his sole purpose as a political figure.
“There’s no end to the ramifications of what happened to this building,” McCandless said. “The real United States would not do that. The real United States would not sabotage something and blame it on somebody else just to start something.”