WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Greg Sagan is hoping to challenge Texas's 13th District Congressman Mac Thornberry next November.
On Tuesday, he spoke with students at Midwestern State University about what problems they think need to be addressed. It's part of what he's calling his "listening tour."
Sagan said you can't represent people you don't listen to. That's why he's spending the time to talk with everyone in the district.
Sagan will then use the input to help create his platform. One thing he does know is that change is needed in Washington D.C.
"What I see happening in our political system today is that there is too much dogma, not enough intellectual flexibility, and people willing to change their stance," Sagan said.
He said he is just a regular person like everyone else. Sagan was enjoying retirement until the 2016 presidential election.
He said what he saw disturbed him and he decided he had to do something.
"I realized that there's a whole skill set that I don't know about," Sagan said. "But there's also a kind of culture, a way of doing things, that we have fallen into in this country that I think doesn't really serve us."
Sagan has no political experience but believes his experience as a U.S. Navy Delegate to the South Asia Treaty Organization has helped prepare him for what the job has to offer.
His biggest takeaway was the importance to listen to others.
"Let's look for the common ground," he said. "Let's look for where this might serve both of our interests and the interest of our constituents to do something together. That's where we begin to rebuild the political system."
Chair of the Midwestern State Political Science Department, Steve Garrison, said traditionally experience has been important to voters.
But that trend is changing and President Donald Trump's recent nomination is an example. However, he still thinks Sagan will have his work cut out for him.
"It will be a daunting task," Garrison said. "I think traditionally in political science measures, this is considered one of the most conservative districts in the United States. So we would think of it as Congressman Thornberry having the upper hand."
Sagan said his biggest reason for running is because how committed Republicans are to President Trump.
"They do not oppose anything about this President," Sagan said. "No matter how outrageous his conduct becomes and no matter how much damage he does to the people of this country. And I think that Congressman Thornberry has to stand up and take a percentage of that."
Sagan said whether he's been speaking to rural or urban communities, they all have the same kind of issues on their minds. He said he wants to be a voice for them if he wins.
Sagan said one common frustration he sees is people annoyed with Congressman Thornberry, not observing the commitment he made to term limits many years ago.
Congressman Thornberry has served in his position for more than 20 years.