Fiscally liberal evangelist Rice makes a run for Hoyer’s seat
Fifty-year-old Jonathan Rice received a calling — to run for public office.
“God gives me political prophecies,” said Rice, a Capitol Heights resident who is running in 2018 for the District 5 U.S. congressional seat held by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th).
Rice, an Ohio native, said he moved to the region from Los Angeles two years ago to pray for the government and for the leadership on Capitol Hill.
A self-professed street evangelist, Rice boasts prior missionary work in Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria, and in India preaching in churches through his self-funded independent ministry Johnny Rice — End Times Ministry.
Rice is active in multiple prayer ministries in the nation’s capital. He started a “Prayer Warriors for Trump” group. The divorced cab driver admits he was originally a supporter of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during the 2016 presidential election, but through divine intervention he had a change of heart.
“God spoke to me. He said, ‘John, look at his name. His name is Trump. I am raising him up to flip this anti-God, anti-Christ government of Obama and the next chosen one,’” shared Rice, referring to Hillary Clinton.
Rice said because President Donald Trump is the chosen one, he must support and pray for him during this time of “spiritual war.”
Rice is not abashed about wearing his faith on his sleeves and is clear about his mission. If elected to the District 5 seat, he is committed in knocking down the wall that separates church and state.
“I want to lift up prayer and Christian values [in polices],” said Rice. “I don’t like government funding abortion — Planned Parenthood — a half a billion dollars per year.”
Rice said his preferred alternative to abortions is that the government subsidize funds for adoption.
Rice agrees with the president on the implementation of a transgender ban in the military.
He said the legalization of gay marriage shouldn’t give gay couples extra privileges and they should not be able to force their social agenda onto a private business.
He supports “Trump’s vetting of six nations” to bar citizens of certain majority Muslim nations.
Despite his Pentecostal background, Rice plans to push for the legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of all drugs.
“The War on Drugs — I believe it’s a terrible policy. No one should go to jail for nonviolent crimes,” expressed Rice. “I think it is sad. They sold drugs and they go to prison and they have a felony, which destroys their life.”
He also briefly acknowledged those still imprisoned in some jurisdictions that have legalized the drug. His solution is to expunge the records of those people when they get out of prison.
Rice also believes there should be free government health care and that it can be funded by cutting the defense budget in half. He was pleased the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act had not taken place. “We really need to try to do something bipartisan,” said Rice.
“Put the military money into America,” said Rice, who calls himself a non-interventionist opposed to U.S. military invasion into the Middle East.
Despite never holding or running for elected office, Rice is not deterred. His strategy for beating the incumbent Hoyer is to share his policies, which he acknowledges are not mainstream, with the media so they can resonate with the constituents of District 5.