WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Larry Holmquist was driving to Florida from his home in Greensboro when he made a decision that would put him on a different road. Not something as simple as which exit to take, or where to stop for the next tank full of gas. Something Holmquist heard on the radio pushed him even deeper into the political arena.
"The news came across about two o'clock that afternoon that the Senate had voted to approve funding for Obamacare, and Senator (Richard) Burr had voted to approve funding," Holmquist remembers. "I said to myself 'that's it, If another big-name Republican does not step up to challenge him, I will'. All along I thought someone would step up, maybe a (Rep) Mark Meadows or (Lieutenant Governor) Dan Forest. But, it didn't happen."
Holmquist is one of three candidates challenging Burr in the March 15 Senatorial Primary Election. Holmquist cites his experience as campaign manager for a candidate in the 2014 District 6 House race, and time serving as a volunteer in several other campaigns. But 2016 is his first campaign as a candidate. Holmquist did win the state Tea Party Constitutional Caucus in October, getting 58 percent of the votes.
Holmquist does not hold back criticism of elected leaders in Washington, DC. He is quick to blame President Obama for "damage being done to the country". But Holmquist also tears into top Republicans for "enabling" those plans, calling Senate leader Mitch McConnell, former House Speaker john Boehner and current Speaker Paul Ryan "three of the most cowardly leaders in the history of the Republican Party."
"I don't think those gentlemen were wise, primarily McConnell and Boehner's decisions, to take impeachment off the table," Holmquist says. "Impeachment is a legitimate constitutional tool, very much a part of the checks and balances written into the Constitution. Our founders' did not put it there as an afterthought. It's a legitimate tool that the legislative branch can utilize to check an out of control executive branch." When asked about specific instances where he believes impeachment would have been raised, Holmquist said, "There are certainly two that I can think of right away. The first is Mr. Obama's failure to enforce our borders and enforce our immigration laws. The second I would say is the incredible abuse of the IRS targeting conservative individuals and organizations."
Holmquist is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, and believes more should be done to secure America's borders and enforce the current immigration laws. He would look to decrease regulation, and says there is too much bureaucracy in Washington, DC. He would favor eliminating the Department of Education ("to think there are people, bureaucrats in DC who think they know what's best for the entire country in terms of educational policy and what types of practices are best, it's ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous," he says) and Department of Energy ("the purpose of that department was, and is, to make us energy independent. I don't think we are any more energy independent now than we were when that department was founded") if elected to the Senate.