Ryan Costello seeks retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach’s seat in Pennsylvania

Ryan CostelloRunning for Congress has been a dream for Ryan Costello since he was in law school at Villanova University during the late ‘90s and early 2000s. He never had his chance, until now – a chance brought about by the sudden unexpected retirement of Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) after 12 years in office.

Costello has worked as a municipal attorney since graduating in 2002. He has also served in successive elected positions in his native Chester County, the fastest growing county in suburban Philadelphia, including his current role as chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners.

The 37-year-old lives with his wife and son in West Chester and would be the youngest member of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation should he win in November.

His chances of achieving his dream seem very likely, considering the incumbent won the district in 2012 with 57 percent of the vote. The Cook Political Report puts the district in the “Leans Republican” category.

Costello says his brand of conservatism is issue-oriented and driven by a desire to think outside of the box rather than getting stuck behind partisan talking points. Polls show the sort of partisan rancor that has become a staple in American politics in recent years has become a turnoff for younger voters.

“I have a reputation for being very authentic, which is to say that I say pretty much what I’m thinking,” Costello explains to Red Alert Politics. “I think that keeps people listening a little bit longer than they would of a typical politician. Once you hear a few talking points you tune out, and, again, I think for myself.”

You may not agree with everything everyone says, Costello notes, but it’s still important to make them feel heard. Doing so makes a candidate or elected official more informed and better able to get his message across, Costello thinks.

Costello argues that a taking a listening approach to politics increases interest among the electorate because “you might just say something that’s just a little bit different.”

“I think you need to be a little bit unpredictable, but it’s something that’s got to be well-reasoned,” he said. “That’s what I think the next generation of voters, and frankly, all voters are really interested in.”

He is critical of the GOP’s inability to articulate its ideas without getting defined by the Democrats and their media allies. Republicans have a lot of great ideas when it comes to helping all Americans and young people in particular, but their message gets lost, he says.

“The response to the unfair criticisms is either ignored, or instead it’s lost in the attack that the other political party is doing,” Costello says. “They are not good at explaining why the criticism or the allegation is not accurate.

“Let’s start with the one that the Republican Party is ‘the party of the rich,’” Costello continued. “I don’t believe that the Republican Party is ‘the party of the rich’ for the following reason: Less regulation, a simpler tax code and reforming health care in a way that doesn’t cost younger Americans more means that you are going to have a better environment for people to get jobs.”

Costello argues that issues need to be explained in the simplest possible terms, and the rhetoric needs to avoid “the ‘Gotcha!’ predictable fiery rhetoric that oftentimes get political activists and politicians in trouble.”

“Politics is the art of persuasion and getting people to move to your position,” Costello said. “If you are not open-minded, and you are not looking to persuade people in a respectful way then all you are doing is being a talking head. If I wanted to be a talking head, I’d be in a different profession.”

Issues such as the future of Social Security and the negative impact of Obamacare on America are important to him. He is a proponent of reforming Social Security to keep it around for younger Americans who may never see a dime the way the way things are going.

Democrats have only demagogued the issue and refused to address any sort of meaningful reform that would keep it around for future generations in Costellos’s opinion, which stands to harm young people in the long run.

Costello also is worried about what Obamacare will do to younger workers and small businesses once the employer mandate is enforced.

“If you are a 27-year-old living in the Philadelphia region, single and in good health, your premiums have jumped,” Costello said. “Meanwhile, the cost of college is going up; rents remain stable or are going up; the cost of living has gone up; the job market has been depressed, making it more difficult to get a job coming out of college.

“Now you have to pay for health care.”

Such a situation is not fair to young people.

Republicans have the right ideas, he says. But now it’s a matter of listening to where people are at and explaining those ideas in a way that people will listen.

Comments

Polititainment

Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

Galifianakis gives Obama a nickname
Zach Galifianakis once came up with a very special nickname for President Obama, he recounted on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night. It all started when Galifianakis came to the White House to film the Emmy-winning “Between Two Ferns” episode to promote Obamacare. “Before we went to interview the president, I ate in the White House […]

White House

President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]
Obama reveals his favorite Supreme Court decision

President Obama dished on his favorite Supreme Court decision during his presidency, and it wasn’t either of his interviewer’s top guesses.

Poll: Obama less ‘effective’ at ‘managing basic functions’ of government than George W. Bush
Since his popularity and approval ratings began to slide during his second term, former President George W. Bush has served as a scapegoat for Democrats and current President Obama. Bush’s name has been invoked with almost every negative event that has come America’s way. But it seems that the “blame Bush” strategy hasn’t made the […]

Congress

Dems target Republicans as extremists on ed issues

Democrats this election cycle are working hard to paint their Republican opponents as wild extremists who would slash all funding for student loans.

Udall struggles to think of his favorite books

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed a bit rattled in his recent interview with ABC 7 News.

Rand Paul: W.H. hasn’t accurately described Ebola
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Bloomberg politics he believes that the White House has been inaccurately depicting the risks of contracting Ebola. “I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us,” said Paul. “They’ve so wanted to downplay this that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their […]
Rand Paul doesn't want to 'turnip for what'
Sorry Michelle. It doesn’t look like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to “turnip for what.” Paul let the first lady know about his first stop in New Hampshire Thursday on Twitter. The likely presidential hopeful went from the plane to the Dunkin’ Donuts and snapped a photo. Just arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire. First stop: @DunkinDonuts cc: […]
Americans could face $15B in new internet taxes
If Senate Democrats don’t take up the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act before the end of the year, American internet users could be looking at nearly $15 billion in additional taxes, a new study found. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, passed during the 1990s, prevents state and local governments from taxing people for access to the […]