26 July 2021 | Justin Piper, a Seventh-day Adventist, 25-year-old Lyft driver and cable installation business owner in Hamden, Connecticut, is running for a seat on his town’s legislative council.
Last Thursday, Piper won the official endorsement of Hamden’s Republican Town Committee to run.
Piper is an active Adventist who openly references his faith in his campaign.
An avid Trump supporter, Piper attended the January 6 Stop the Steal rally in Washington that controversially ended with the storming of Congress by right-wing protestors. He points out that he did not join the mob in storming Congress.
The New Haven Independent reported that Piper would be the first Black Republican to serve on the Hamden town council since “at least the 1970s.”
Piper is running on a platform that calls for lowered taxes, full funding of police, and restricted government reach.
Although he has previously said he is not getting vaccinated against COVID, Piper appears to be evolving in his views, telling the Independent he will wait a year and see what the effects are on those that have been vaccinated before making his decision.
Piper is keen to stress his conservative religious upbringing:
“I wasn’t raised around secular music, drug use or alcohol use,” Piper said to the Independent. “I didn’t curse, and I took my Christian beliefs everywhere I went with me. I always quoted the Bible.”
He told the publication that, as an Adventist, he attends church every Saturday. He said that his faith and his adoption at age four by a family that was financially better off than his peers resulted in his standing out and being bullied.
Piper said he “lives by the Ten Commandments — Don’t lie, steal, or covet, honor thy parents, and have no other gods.”
He said coveting “is a political view that comes from the church.”
“You shall not take things that belong to others and give it to people that don’t work,” he said, adding, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
Piper said he imagines a world where there are more worship centers — “places to find hope no matter what your religion is” and envisions these centers providing social support services instead of the government.
On issues of race, Piper told the Independent, “I don’t see color… the greatest way to end racism is to stop talking about it.”
He told the publication that “the only hate I’ve received is from my own community,” referencing times neighbors of color had called him “Uncle Tom,” “whitewashed,” and other racially charged terms.
Piper sees a future in politics and wants to run for Connecticut governor.
“I want to spread positivity, to spread love, to spread unity, if I had more power,” Piper said to the Independent.
“I want to one day run for president of the United States.”