Michele Weslander Quaid emphasizes liberty during announcement speech
Stressing her support for individual freedom, Michele Weslander Quaid announced her candidacy Thursday for the 24th Congressional District seat.
Ms. Weslander Quaid, a Santa Barbara resident who has worked in government and business, is running as an independent against U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara in the June primary.
Ms. Weslander Quaid addressed an audience outside South Coast Church in Goleta, where supporters applauded her statements promoting liberty, respect for the Constitution and limited government, and a strong America.
“America is the best, last hope on Earth,” said Ms. Weslander Quaid, a former information officer in federal intelligence and a former Google chief technology officer. “If America falls, there is no place for freedom-loving people to go. We must recognize what is at stake and take a courageous stand to preserve our liberty.
“That is why I’m running for U.S. Congress, and my family supports this decision,” she said, prompting immediate applause.
Ms. Weslander Quaid listed her principles as individual liberty, equal justice for all, a constitutionally limited government, a secure southern border, support for first responders and veterans, fiscal responsibility and lower taxes, and excellence in education.
She also noted she believes in environmental stewardship and energy independence.
And quoting from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Ms. Weslander Quaid, who grew up in Santa Barbara, stressed the importance of a free and strong America.
“When America is weak, bad actors take advantage of the situation,” she said. “We only need to look at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
She criticized the Biden administration and Congress for overspending and overprinting money, devaluing the dollar.
“Inflation is at a 30-year high,” said Ms. Weslander Quaid, who earned her bachelor’s in physics and engineering science at Seattle Pacific University with honors and her master’s in optics at the University of Rochester in New York.
After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Weslander Quaid became a senior executive in defense intelligence. She worked on the integration of the intelligence community and told her supporters Thursday that she worked to change the mind set from “need to know” to “need to share.”
When the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created, Ms. Weslander Quaid served as the first intelligence community deputy chief information officer, working with 17 organizations. She went on to other intelligence roles, including chief technology officer for the National Reconnaissance Office.
Later, Ms. Weslander Quaid worked for Google as its chief technology officer for the public sector, and in 2015, she founded her own company, Sunesis Nexus.
During her speech Thursday, Ms. Weslander Quaid criticized COVID-19 mandates and educational trends such as the teaching at schools of critical race theory, a concept that she said would have appalled the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She noted the civil rights leader dreamed of a world where people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
“Government bureaucrats are trying to dictate every aspect of our lives,” she warned.
“In 2020, when the COVID lockdown went past 15 days, I was on high alert. I knew there had to be other agendas at play,” Ms. Weslander Quaid said.
Ms. Weslander Quaid cautioned against what she sees as trends toward socialism and communism in the U.S. government and those who influence the government.
“ ‘Black Lives Matter’ sounds great. Of course, they do, but the founders are Marxists,” she said.
She expressed concern over younger generations seeking to replace capitalism and free market economies with socialism.
“The enemies of the United States are using tactics to turn citizen against citizen and divide our nation,” Ms. Weslander Quaid said. “But a house divided cannot stand.”