Quaye Quartey is running for Congress to “move America forward,” he told The Signal.
A Democratic candidate for the 25th Congressional District, Quartey, a business owner and retired Navy intelligence officer, said “the insurrection was really the crystallizing moment for me.”
“To see this happen in real time on television, not over in the Middle East, not in some African nation states where I thought it would happen, but here in America on Capitol Hill, really was a gut punch … it called me to action,” said Quartey, who focused on transnational terrorism and cybersecurity in the Navy.
Quartey is moving with his family from San Diego to Valencia this week.
“It’s a wonderful community. It’s a diverse community,” he said, noting he’s eager to speak with people in the community. “I look forward to getting to know people from Edwards Air Force Base, the aerospace defense industry, but also people in Simi Valley that may have a different perspective.”
Quartey said his top-three local priorities are addressing affordable housing, gun violence and political disunity.
“Fortunately, (in) Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Landcaster, there’s affordable housing there,” Quartey said. “We need to make sure we safeguard that and protect that (so) people can afford to live where they want to live.”
Addressing gun violence, along with safeguarding democracy and expanding the Affordable Care Act, are also on Quartey list of national priorities.
“Gun violence in America is something we should be working hard to prevent,” he said, noting he brings his military experience to this issue. “It should not be at the level it is today. It’s very disheartening.”
Quartey said it was a family decision to run for Congress.
“Service was a lifelong thing I’ve done,” he said. “I’m running because I think that our elected officials really have neglected their service and their obligation to serve the community.”
The 25th District is currently represented by Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita. Democrats Christy Smith, Ruth Luevanos, Rhoda Nazanin and Dara Stransky have also announced their candidacy for the seat.