One thing that\u2019s clear about the congressional campaign of Greenwich resident Carl Higbie is that he does not aim to be the typical politician. The former Navy SEAL from Greenwich, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and is looking not just to defeat the incumbent Democrat in November but also come up against the bosses inside the Connecticut Republican Party as he seeks the nomination against GOP front-runner Dan Debicella of Shelton. With that in mind, Higbie is headed to next month\u2019s state Republican convention to lay the groundwork for what he believes will be a successful primary campaign against Debicella in August. In a recent interview carried live on HANRadio.com, he didn\u2019t hold back. 'No room for gray' \u201cI come from a background of \u2018what you see is what you get,\u2019\u201d Higbie said. \u201cI was a soldier. I look my enemies in the eyes. Everything was black and white because there was no room for gray. There was no room for \u2018Well, what if...\u2019 and pandering. \u201cA well-executed bad plan was always better than a poorly-executed great plan where I came from,\u201d he continued. \u201cThis election is going to be about that. I came in a little bit later than [Himes and Debicella] but I got the ball rolling very quickly and got a lot of people behind me.\u201d Will be direct with his positions Higbie said he rejects the idea that a \u201cblack and white\u201d view doesn\u2019t fit with politics where he would have to represent a wide and diverse constituency in the Fourth Congressional District as well as work in Washington, D.C., where deals and compromises are considered part of the terrain. He said it\u2019s politicians have made government \u201ca gray area\u201d to make sure people don\u2019t know what they\u2019re really up to. The Fourth Congressional District includes most of Fairfield County, including much of Shelton. Himes, a three-term Democrat from Greenwich, is seeking re-election this year. Seeking \u2018fiscal sanity\u2019 His campaign is built around several ideas, the first of which he calls the need for \u201cfiscal sanity.\u201d Higbie is calling for reducing the corporate tax rate to 0% and, to offset that cost, a massive reform of welfare spending. He said care should be taken with Social Security and Medicare because they\u2019ve been paid into, but that instead of spending so much on welfare programs that money can be used for grant programs to start small businesses, creating jobs in the process; or the money could be used on education and job training. Higbie also called for slashing the federal government in half \u2014 including military spending, because the current manpower isn\u2019t needed, he said. By dropping the corporate tax rate to zero, Higbie said companies that have shipped jobs to other countries will come back to America, creating new jobs here for people who are no longer receiving welfare. \u201cWe want everyone to be part of society and not just part of the government dole,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cThis money that was once just used for a check can now go to education and jobs programs. Ultimately we\u2019re going to get completely off this.\u201d GOP encourages \u2018upward mobility\u2019 Higbie continued, \u201cThe Democrats for so long have said, \u2018Hey, we need unemployment benefits. We need welfare. We need checks for these people,\u2019 but the fact of the matter is the Democratic Party and the liberal left agenda has tried to essentially enslave the lower middle class by saying \u2018You need the government. You need us and we\u2019re going to keep giving and giving.\u2019 \u201cSure it sounds appealing but the bottom line is the Republican Party is the party that wants the upward mobility,\u201d he said. After his two tours in Iraq, Higbie said he has seen first hand the need for more spending on veterans to ensure they get the physical and mental health help they need upon returning home \u2014 and help getting a job or starting a business of their own. Wants to repeal Obamacare Higbie also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. While the White House has trumpeted 8 million sign-ups for health care under the law, Higbie says he doubts that numbers are accurate, noting not enough information was released about who has paid for their healthcare. And he also notes past alleged lies about Obamacare by the government. (Story continues below) ----------------- This is the second in a HANRadio.com series, Connecticut Candidates 2014, where state and local candidates sit down with Hersam Acorn Radio. You can listen to an archive of the interview at HANRadio.com or SheltonHerald.com. ----------------- He grants that there were likely \u201cgood intentions\u201d behind the law but claims it has caused 7 million people to be dropped from their plans and calls it a failure, basing much of that on his own wife\u2019s experience as a nurse and the uncertainty it has created in the healthcare industry and in the economy, while causing premiums to go up. Wants other healthcare reforms Instead of the current law, Higbie said he would go back to the old system, but with changes such as allowing for more competition between states for insurance rates and a curb on malpractice suits to try and curb costs. Higbie said he would \u201chold Jim Himes\u201d feet to the fire on this during the campaign and make it a major issue of debate. \u201cThe old system wasn\u2019t that broken,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cA lot of people disagree with me on that but I think a lot of people are wrong.\u201d Downplays social issues One of the tent poles of Higbie\u2019s campaign is that he does not want to get bogged down in the social issues that so many politicians focus on. He said that\u2019s not nearly as important to people as a focus on reducing the federal debt and creating jobs. That means, while he is personally pro life, he said don\u2019t expect to see him championing new legislation on abortions. \u201cThese are social issues, not a legislative matter,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cI might be pro life but the bottom line is that this is not a legislative matter. I\u2019m not going to make legislation saying a woman can\u2019t have an abortion but I\u2019m also not going to allocate dollars to pay for one. If you want to do it, you go do it. I\u2019m done arguing about it. \u201cThe world is changing,\u201d he said. \u201cIf people want to do it, that\u2019s their opinion. It\u2019s not a congressman\u2019s job to tell a woman what she can and can\u2019t do with her body.\u201d \u2018Pursuit of happiness\u2019 On another social topic, Higbie said that while he is \u201cnot a big fan of the gay ideology,\u201d which is something he discusses in his book \u201cBattle on the Home Front: A Navy SEAL\u2019s Mission to Save the American Dream,\u201d he supports civil unions and even said in the interview that he could extend that to gay marriage. \u201cIt\u2019s something I personally find morally upsetting, but if they want to do that is totally their prerogative,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cI believe they have the right to a civil union because I believe that is the pursuit of happiness for some people. \u201cIf you want it, fine, and we can let the church decide on the marriage thing, it\u2019s not a legislative matter,\u201d he said. \u201cIt does not need to be brought up in Congress.\u201d Challenging the establishment Higbie said he wants people to know exactly where he stands on the issues so there could never be any doubt or confusion. \u201cThat\u2019s how politics needs to be,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cPeople have become accepting of this ridiculousness of not answering the question and beating around the bush. That shouldn\u2019t be acceptable anymore.\u201d And, if elected, don\u2019t expect Higbie to soften his stances either. He said that in 2010, when Debicella first challenged Himes, 18,000 Republicans didn\u2019t vote and Debicella lost by less than 10,000 votes. By giving Republicans more reason to come out and vote by rejecting the middle, he said there can be success. \u2018I\u2019m tired of moderating\u2019 \u201cI fight a lot of the establishment Republicans here,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cThey don\u2019t really care for me that much and they\u2019re always saying you have to moderate, moderate, moderate. I\u2019m tired of moderating. Look where it\u2019s gotten us. President Romney? President McCain? \u201cThey always say you need to compromise but I\u2019m done compromising,\u201d he said. \u201cSome things need compromise and I\u2019ve done that but I\u2019m not going to compromise on things that compromise my country.\u201d Though they are of different parties, Himes and his predecessor, Republican Christopher Shays, both have taken pains in their campaigns to run as moderates eager to work with the opposite side in Washington. But Higbie rejects that. \u201cI\u2019m fighting for a better America, I\u2019m not fighting based on party policies,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cI\u2019m tired of the parties. This is about the people you put into office, not the parties.\u201d A summer primary for Republicans? Debicella is the front-runner in the race and his campaign recently announced it has secured the public endorsement of 51% of the delegates, essentially sewing up the convention\u2019s nomination. Higbie said he\u2019s not surprised by that, and his eye is on a primary in August. So he will be going to the May convention looking to get 15% to 30% support to push his campaign forward. If a candidate receives 15% of the delegates, he automatically qualifies for the August primary. Without 15% of the delegates, he would need to petition his way onto the primary ballot. A third candidate also is seeking the Republican nomination in the race \u2014 Dr. Joseph Bentivegna, an ophthalmologist from Fairfield. Wants to \u2018shake things up\u2019 \u201cI think I am the strongest candidate to go in there and shake things up,\u201d Higbie said. \u201cHimes does not want to debate me. I\u2019m not the standard politician \u2014 I\u2019m the soldier. I\u2019ll say how it is and if he dances around the question, I\u2019ll say he\u2019s doing that. I don\u2019t see Dan Debicella bringing it to him like that.\u201d Higbie trumpets his donations of small amounts like $1 or $5 or $20 because he said he shows that his message is resonating with the average voter. But now, with what he says is momentum inside his campaign, Higbie is looking for the kind of donations that come with bigger checks, the kind of funding he will need to take this primary through August where, with elections classically showing low turnouts, anything can happen. The complete interview with Carl Higbie is at HANradio.com. For more information on his campaign, go to CarlHigbie.com. This article's author, Ken Borsuk, is editor of the Greenwich Post, another Hersam Acorn p8ublication.