By Hadass Kogan
McPeek isn't stopping now. Instead, the former Democrat has switched parties and is running as the Libertarian candidate for the District 3 House of Representatives seat being vacated by Rep. Benjamin Cardin.
McPeek is using the issue of income tax as the cornerstone of his campaign and is confident he will win the election because he said "people like my ideas."
McPeek wants to abolish the system of income tax, and in its place implement a pay-as-you-go flat sales tax. He said the current tax system allows criminals - from prostitutes and drug dealers to white-collar workers - to improperly report their income, making them exempt from paying federal, state or local income tax.
He also said, if elected, he would work with Congress to require citizens to register to vote, citing voter apathy as a problem in the political system.
"Incumbents stay because the little people don't vote," he said. "I want to require young people to register to vote."
Although he would not require people to vote, citing personal prerogative, registering would give everybody the opportunity, he said. McPeek also said if elected he would lobby to implement a system of mandatory military service through the voter registration system.
McPeek also wants to reform the legal system by changing many felony offenses - including minor robberies and drug offenses - to misdemeanors. He said felony charges cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year because the government has to provide legal representation to those charged and "room and board" in prisons for those convicted.
Though he said he does not condone or promote prostitution, McPeek says he wants it decriminalized. He said prostitutes should be licensed, taxed, given medical evaluations and taken off the streets.
McPeek believes his campaign will be bolstered by voters' need for something outside the two-party system, and citizens' feelings that politicians have forgotten the interests of the people.
"People know I'm dependable, reliable," McPeek said. "I don't drink, I don't smoke."
McPeek, who said he was once a moonshiner, is a recovering alcoholic in his 37th year of sobriety.
He was approached by the Libertarian party while selling lumber on Route 175. The sign on his truck, "People united for tax reform USA," attracted party members and sparked the dialogue that eventually led McPeek to his nomination as the Libertarian Party's candidate.
Because McPeek is the only Libertarian candidate running for the District 3 seat, his name will be printed on the November ballot.
He believes this will be his year to get elected because of the backing he is receiving from the Libertarian party.
"Before, I didn't call it a campaign, I called it a crusade," McPeek said of his previous congressional races. "I didn't have any campaign organization."
E-mail Hadass Kogan at Hadass Kogan@patuxent.com