America First: Meet the ‘anti-Squad’ Republicans hoping to take the midterm ballot box by storm – Fox News

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Washington congressional candidate Corey Gibson launched the America First P.A.C.T. under a proposition to foster a consensus among conservative candidates regardless of their background and to “save America” from what he calls a radical Biden agenda.

“We’re essentially the anti-‘Squad'” he told Fox News Digital. “We’re a pact of first-time candidates and political outsiders who want what’s best for America and are united around that common cause.”

The P.A.C.T. (Protecting America’s Constitution and Traditions, respectively) focuses on policies that restore America’s role as a beacon of freedom on the world stage and promote the promise of individual liberties for all citizens.

Gibson, who is running among a field of Republicans in Washington’s 4th House district, is up against incumbent Rep. Dan Newhouse, who was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Gibson said he seeks to undo a common misconception about the America First movement: that it is all about Trump.

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Logo for the America First P.A.C.T., a group of outsiders and first-time candidates who say they're dedicated to preserving traditional American values of freedom and exceptionalism.

Logo for the America First P.A.C.T., a group of outsiders and first-time candidates who say they’re dedicated to preserving traditional American values of freedom and exceptionalism. (Corey Gibson/America First P.A.C.T.)

“So many people are running [for office], and they’re doing this ‘America First’ thing because they want to get the favor of Trump. We aren’t really looking at it that way, though,” Gibson said.

“We’re looking at it as we know and recognize which policies work. We’re looking at the America First agenda itself. America First, for us, is really just about the policies that Trump enacted when he was president. Trump got this movement started, but I think it’s much bigger than him.”

Gibson said he wishes voters would ask more questions about the America First P.A.C.T. and the America First movement, so everyone could obtain a better grasp of its goals.

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Corey Gibson, Republican candidate for Washington's 4th district, and founder of the America First P.A.C.T.

Corey Gibson, Republican candidate for Washington’s 4th district, and founder of the America First P.A.C.T. (Corey Gibson/America First P.A.C.T.)

The America First blueprint garnered criticism from the left for allegedly promoting ideas rooted in racism, sexism and homophobia among others, but Gibson shunned that notion, noting his own identity and the identity of others among the group.

“I think people associate a personality with America First,” he said, tying in criticisms from the left.

Gibson, if elected, would be one of a few openly gay members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He mentioned his personal life as a snippet of who he is, however, and says his sexual orientation has nothing to do with policy or belief.

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“One of the most important things we need to do as a country is get united again,” he said. “It’s OK to disagree on how we get to the destination, but we need to get real and start with the idea that, first and foremost, whether you are gay or straight, Black, White, whatever, that we identify ourselves as Americans first.”

From left: Darius Mayfield (not yet a P.A.C.T. member) and members Dr. Terry Namkung and YG Nyghtstorm

From left: Darius Mayfield (not yet a P.A.C.T. member) and members Dr. Terry Namkung and YG Nyghtstorm (Dwayne McClure/America First P.A.C.T.)

In a press release issued to Fox News Digital, the P.A.C.T. outlined its goals for fostering a better future and highlighted the policies needed to realize those goals. 

“[The America First P.A.C.T.] is a diverse group of like-minded conservatives (regardless of Trump’s endorsement), who are dedicated to working together to enact meaningful policy change through an America First agenda,” the statement read.

Supporters at a campaign event for Virginia U.S. House candidate and America First P.A.C.T. member Dr. Terry Namkung

Supporters at a campaign event for Virginia U.S. House candidate and America First P.A.C.T. member Dr. Terry Namkung (Dwayne McClure/America First P.A.C.T.)

“This means returning us to energy independence, defending our borders, enacting congressional term limits, and protecting the freedoms we so cherish.”

But Gibson is just one of many members of America First. What do other pact members have to say about the movement’s goals, ideas and expectations for November’s midterms?

Dewayne McClure, the pact’s co-founder, works behind the scenes to keep everything running. He says the organization serves to alter the existing Republican Party to one more focused on fundamental principles of liberty to ensure a greater future for all Americans. 

“My goal with the P.A.C.T. is to make it a powerhouse of force within the Republican Party and within the country. Our goal has been very simple, which is to fundamentally change the DNA of the Republican Party,” he said. “Basically, we’re tired. We’re tired of being a party of losers and capitulations that don’t know how to play offense.”

McClure shared Gibson’s enthusiasm for the diverse field of America First candidates, highlighting his own identity as biracial in the process.

“We really have a diverse bunch,” he said, enthusing about the roles of members with various demographic backgrounds.

Christine Villaverde, America First candidate for North Carolina's 2nd district 

Christine Villaverde, America First candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd district  (Christine Villaverde for Congress)

Christine Villaverde ranks among the candidates McClure identified as an America First stronghold. The congressional candidate running for a seat in North Carolina’s 2nd House district issued her own statement about the America First P.A.C.T., telling Fox News Digital she views it as one “focused on lead[ing] America into a more prosperous future by promoting policies that enact positive changes across [the U.S.],” citing several key issues important to her message, including small business protections, parental rights in education and energy independence among others.

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“Our members want to remind the world that America is a nation that deserves gratitude for their generosity and that we will lead with strength through not just power, but with principles. We believe it is time to unite behind a positive message and to promote an agenda built on our values and the American ideals of freedom, justice, and equality,” the statement read.

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