Updated: March 23, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.
An alumnus announced Wednesday night that he is considering running as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. Senate, representing Pennsylvania.
Kris Hart, who described his political ideology as being a Republican with moderate tendencies, said he wants to lower federal taxes, support government deregulation and advocate for criminal justice reform. His website lists 15 policy issues ranging from ensuring the right to bear arms to supporting Pennsylvania’s agriculture.
Hart, 34, grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to D.C. in 1999 to work in the House of Representatives as a U.S. House page, a paid program for high schoolers, he said.
“I spent most of my life in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I want to move back to the state I love and the neighbors I love.”
Last November, Hart said he was approached for a third time in 2016 about running for senate and told his family during Thanksgiving dinner about the possibility of him entering the race.
Hart said he has knowledge and experience on creating jobs, getting small business development loans, local government, education, criminal justice reform and homelessness.
For subjects like foreign affairs and agriculture, he said he will identity senior senators and experts who can help him better understand those issues and what kind of help people need.
“I have to stand in the back of the room and listen to the people who understand them better than me,” he said. “I have to learn those before I become a part of the conversation.”
After announcing his consideration to run for senate Wednesday in Abington, Pa., Hart will embark on a listening tour in Pennsylvania to “test the waters” and his ability to be the right leader.
From now until mid-May, Hart said that he has more than 82 events scheduled at the homes of friends and family as well as PTA meetings. He will trek throughout Pennsylvania, including stops in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
“I know what I think, but I need to hear what other people think because that’s more important,” he said.
A student in the School of Business, Hart served as Student Association President from his sophomore to junior year. His senior year, Hart took time off to become a local business owner in the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhood, he said.
When Hart was 22, he opened a spa called Relaxed on F Street before buying Foggy Bottom Grocery in 2009 and opening a sandwich shop there a year later, renaming the business FoBoGro.
Hart completed his degree in business economics in public policy in 2011, 10 years after he started at GW. After selling both Relaxed and FoBoGro, Hart said he is ready to get back into politics.
“I’ve employed hundreds of people in retail businesses, and I finally decided that, ‘You know what, I’m passionate and I love talking and meeting with people and understanding everyone’s story whether you’re a CEO or a homeless person on the street,’” he said.
This post has been updated to reflect the following corrections:
Due to a reporting error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the page program Hart participated in was voluntary. It was a paid program. The Hatchet also incorrectly reported that Hart graduated with a degree in business administration in 2015. He graduated in 2011 with a degree in business economics and public policy. Due to incorrect information from the Hart campaign, The Hatchet reported that Hart announced his decision in Ambridge, Pa., when he did so in Abington, Pa. We regret these errors.