Lipan resident and Independent candidate Robert Belt is running against U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in the upcoming 2006 midterm elections.

Belt filed his intent to run with the Secretary of State’s office Dec. 6, and has since been traveling North Texas campaigning.

Belt’s motorcycle, “The Spirit of Texas,” carried him to campaign stops at town squares in Hico, Dublin and Weatherford, and focused on the south Fort Worth/Lake Como area.

“My war chest consists of about $200 a month,” he said. “That covers printing up flyers and putting gas in the bike.”

Though Belt faces an uphill battle against Hutchison’s widespread political support and campaign resources, the political newcomer is riding some serious issues. If elected, Belt said minimum wage would be the first thing he would change.

“Working class children fight and die in our country’s wars, the working class pays the majority of the taxes,” he said. “In our fight to survive and take care of our families, we go unheard and unnoticed by those who are supposed to represent us.”

Belt is also campaigning against the taxation of overtime wages.

“We are punished for working overtime with higher taxes — work enough overtime and you lose money,” Belt said. “People are punished for trying to do better. I see big corporations getting tax breaks so they can supposedly filter that money down to the working class and I haven’t seen that happening.”

In concert with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s decision to step down Saturday, facing money laundering charges, Belt emphasized his decision to accept no campaign contributions due to the implied conflict of interests.

“I am not asking for your money, just your attention and your vote,” Belt said. “I will take no money from corporations, no hard or soft money. I will represent [voters], not the highest bidder.”

Belt also filed a financial statement with the senate ethics committee.

“I don’t think I really had too much for them to look into,” he said.

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