Jerry Lowery, 55, an administrator at White County High School hoping to knock off U.S. Rep. Diane Black in Tennessee's 6th Congressional District, describes himself as a "Christian constitutionalist."
Overmatched financially — he has listed no contributions so far on federal campaign finance reports, while Black has nearly $1 million on hand — he hopes to win on principle.
"Through the guiding principles of the Scriptures and led by the Holy Spirit, our nation was born," he said in explaining the label. "God led men to start this great experiment in freedom … our government must be run with the Constitution in mind."
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But when campaigning, Lowery said: "The No. 1 question asked of me is: 'Are you the incumbent?' I say no and they say, 'Well, I might vote for you then.' "
He added: "A lot of people are upset with everyone up there (in Washington). We don't see any action from any of these congressmen."
On his campaign's Facebook site, he emphasizes the importance of his education background.
"Everyone has experienced at least one teacher in their lifetime that has taken an interest in their lives and made a difference," the former Navy flight technician said. "I am asking that the people of the 6th District of Tennessee send a teacher to Washington."
He said he would start in the House by trying to get schools relief from federal mandates, including those related to the controversial Common Core curriculum, which was developed by governors and nurtured by the Obama administration.
While saying he has nothing against Black — "This is not personal," he says — Lowery faults her for voting to repeal the health care law with one hand and voting to fund it with the other.
He added, "I would never have voted to raise the debt ceiling."