RP resident – the next U.S. President?
Darrin Hocker, running as a Republican, says he’ll put up own money to get 2016 campaign off the ground
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By Dave Williams  July 25, 2014 12:00 am

Rohnert Park may have raised the next President of the United States.

Granted, it’s a long shot…OK, an extremely long shot…but Darrin Hocker in 2016 will make a run for the job currently held by Barack Obama.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a good 15-20 years, but back then I was not old enough to do it,” the 34-year-old RP resident said. The minimum age requirement for the presidency is 35. 

Hocker lives in Rohnert Park with his wife, Gina, and 2-year-old daughter, Joy. The lifelong RP resident attended public schools in Rohnert Park and also attended Sonoma State University. He did not obtain a degree but has earned numerous certifications in the business world. He says his job is with a large corporation but was not yet ready to reveal where he works.

 

Wife thinks he’s crazy

Normally, when a person opts to run for the presidency, he or she enters with the full support of their family. But Hocker says his wife may be a tad skeptical.

“She thinks I’m a little crazy to be honest at this point, but sometimes that’s what it takes to get things started,” Hocker said. “I have a dream, a goal and I want to help. I think I have the solutions. And I want to be the one making the changes that are so difficult to make. I’m not a senator or a governor, but I consider myself a great leader.”

In order to get to the position to make changes and lead the country, Hocker first has to get on the ballot, and he’s already begun that process. The first step for Hocker is raising the minimum requirement of $5,000 to start a campaign contributions account, which is monitored by the government to ensure a candidate isn’t spending too much money during certain periods of the election cycle.

“I’m going to  give it a good shot even if I have to pay the first $5,000 myself,” Hocker said.

Making his task even more difficult is that he says he’ll run as a Republican even though California is a reliable state for Democrats. 

“I know most Californians are Democrats, but Republicans are for the people, and I consider myself for the people,” he said.  “I have ideas of what I’m pro and con for.”

The more one hears from Hocker, the more he sounds like a Democrat. For example, unlike most in the GOP, he is pro-choice and is for the legalization of marijuana. He also is for using tax dollars to pay for health care.

“I’m a total advocate for health care benefits for everyone,” Hocker said. “As long as they’re a US citizen, everyone should be able to walk to the doctor’s office, say ‘here’s my name and Social Security Number’ and get help. Tax dollars would pay the hospital. No one who doesn’t have enough money to pay should lose their house because they cannot pay doctor bills. As a nation, we need to support each other and spread the load.”

As for one of the dominant topics in the news these days – illegal immigration – he tries to provide a more nuanced response rather than the pat Republican response of deportation.

 

Views on immigration

“I’d like to keep illegal immigration to a minimum, and one way you can do that is with more employee audits of large companies,” he said. “That’s a process that’s been neglected. You can monitor tax dollars and employee tax payments with tax audits, which will help locate where the illegal immigrants are and find the people illegally employing them. That will discourage large corporations from hiring large numbers of illegals. I don’t plan on going full force on the border patrol, though.”

Gay marriage is one area where Hocker is completely out of step with the Republican Party, particularly the social conservatives who carry so much clout in GOP circles.

“I think gays and lesbians should have the right to marry,” he said. “Even though I’m a Christian man, government should not restrict them. Everyone should have the right to believe how they want.”

 

Two years to get name out

Hocker has two years to garner the type of name recognition that will make him a serious candidate for the GOP nomination. He doesn’t have the built-in advantages of the likes of GOP stalwarts such as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry or Chris Christie. Heck, he hasn’t even started the process of retail politics, where he greets people, pets dogs or kisses babies. 

All he has right now is a dream. But in this country, there are countless stories where big dreams become even bigger realities. In America, anything can happen.

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