If DC’s mayoral race has been a bit drab so far, don’t blame Bruce Majors. The Libertarian candidate for mayor brings humor and an enthusiasm for libertarianism—which began with his introduction to the writings of Ayn Rand when he was in ninth grade—to the race. Majors, a realtor by day, saw that steadfast devotion pay off two years ago when he garnered more than 16,000 votes in his first political campaign. (Mayor Vince Gray won with 97,978 votes.) Major’s haul was more than enough votes for the Libertarians to become an official party for the first time on a DC ballot.
Majors is running again, spreading the Libertarian philosophy along the way—“Let people do what they want, and then address a problem if there is one,” he summarizes—and touting the fact that his party is the fastest growing in DC. We chatted with him about his positions and his goals as an underdog candidate in the mayoral race.
What does your party want to achieve?
We want to replace the current paradigm with one where everyone makes choices about their own lives, their own bodies, and their own children. I’m sure occasionally there will be a case where somebody’s doing something and you will have to step in and do something about it, but don’t manage them from the very beginning.
Tell me about your stance on the marijuana referendum.
We spend too much money putting people in jail for that. I don’t smoke marijuana, but I do have a balcony, and I’ve teased my friends who do smoke that I’ll grow three plants on my balcony so they could come to DC, buy me dinner, and I’ll give them some. But I won’t sell it to them.
How would you handle development?
We’ve got a lot of people moving to DC with a lot of money who are driving up the price of housing because it’s so restrictive. One of the ways it’s restrictive is that buildings can’t be more than ten stories tall. If you could build tall buildings that created huge numbers of housing units, I think the rents wouldn’t be going up as quickly.
How would you decrease unemployment in the District?
I want to get rid of lots of regulations that keep people from getting jobs. For example, DC has regulations on hair braiding [that say] you have to go to cosmetology school and get a full-scale license. I have a feeling there’s a lot of stuff like that that nobody ever thinks about looking at because they only affect a small number of people.
How is your fundraising going?
We’ve probably raised $7,000. About half of it’s from me, and, unfortunately, that’s probably all that’s going to come from me this year.
As an underdog, how will you measure success on election day?
Our minimum level of success is getting 7,500 votes to maintain permanent ballot status. That’s really the reason we’re doing this. We definitely don’t want to have to go back to petitioning, and we do want to raise all these issues.
What do you do besides politics?
When I’m not running for office, I like to make jokes. I have some really great jokes about our campaign, but I can’t make any of them because I’m supposed to be running a serious campaign.
In 2010, you said you want to be the gay, slightly less conservative Ann Coulter. Is that still true?
That was kind of a joke. I’ve since met Ann Coulter, and she was mean to me. I showed up at her book signing wearing a “Majors for Mayor” pin. In comes Coulter. She turns to me and grabs my button. I was slightly terrified. She’s looking at me like, “What’s this?” All I could say was, “It’s a local candidate.”