Andrew Oliveira is a 19-year-old from Forks Township running for County Council at the Northampton County Government Center. He is planning on running for a seat in District Two and is seeking the Republican nomination for the position following the primary on May 21.
Q: Why are you running?
Andrew Oliveira: Basically through visiting other people and going around my county and talking to people I got a sense that there’s something that needs to be done and financially things need to be better. I had a political dilemma with my high school this past year, and that’s what got me started on this platform. I challenged the left-wing political interest group at my high school, Indivisible. This group had a gun control rally shortly after the school shooting in Parkland (Florida) where students walked out in support of the cause. Interest groups are against the law at public schools, so I organized an anti-gun control protest to counter the gun control protest.
Q: What are some challenges you’re facing?
AO: Shockingly, I have no challenges going on, riding some momentum from some news stories that were written about us, so no real challenges actually.
Q: What do you have to say to college students like at Lehigh about getting involved and finding your voice?
AO: No matter what, everyone’s opinion matters. Don’t be afraid, don’t care what people think, don’t think about yourself as a victim, think of yourself as a voice and somebody who can go out there and promote change. No matter if you’re left- or right-wing, you need to get out there and voice your opinion. We need that fluid and great fundamental debate in our country.
Q: Have you been endorsed by the Republicans?
AO: No, we have to wait until we win the primary to do that. We are projected to win — had one other opponent who was running who just dropped out before the petition to get on the ballot.
Q: How long have you wanted to be a politician?
AO: I never really planned on it, it’s just something that I felt was needed and that if there was anybody who could do it, especially in my district which isn’t extremely conservative or liberal and is more in the middle ground. I felt like I could do it because I’m not completely liberal or conservative, being more liberal socially and more conservative fiscally.
Q: What are your future big picture plans?
AO: I want to take the county government out of people’s money so they can spend their money how they want. I want to help people fight for their income and for a better life. Less regulations, less government involvement in people’s personal financial matters. Lower taxes, reduced regulations, allow businesses to thrive here and take more of the money they earned and keep the money they earned. People try to construct businesses here, and small businesses can’t thrive because of all of the regulations. Big corporations are getting a favorable opportunity because there are more regulations that they can handle and spend the money on.
Q: What are some of your interests?
AO: I’m basically the average college kid. I like TV, I play sports, I play golf. I have a job. Basically interest-wise I consider myself average, not much any different compared to anyone else.
Q: What are your hopes for the May primary elections?
AO: It’s just a glide into the primary — we’re going to look at the votes we received and see if there’s a comfortable number. Once people see my name on the ballot, I hope to get more name recognition. I’m not too concerned because I am the sole runner at this point.