Fis­cally lib­eral evan­ge­list Rice makes a run for Hoyer’s seat

Maryland Independent - - News - By TA­MARA WARD tward@somd­ Twit­ter: @CalRecTAMARA

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.


Johnny Rice

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