Profiling Thomas Massie and Kerry Bentivolio, a Couple of Potential “Next Ron Paul”s in Congress

As the libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) leaves
Congress, his fans and supporters are looking for hope that his
spirit will live on in the House. Three incoming freshmen received
a rare Ron Paul endorsement. As I learned from interviewing them
for a feature that will be appearing in the forthcoming March issue
of Reason, they don’t particularly want to wear the mantle
of perceived “next Ron Paul” either.

Two of them have been profiled this week in other media. Thomas
Massie of Kentucky, already in Congress because his predecessor
quit early, has his background as judge executive in his home state
examined by Roll Call, which
framed him as a “Tea Party” guy
. They tell a story of him
finding a half-price water heater on Ebay with free shipping when
the county jail needed a replacement, and leading the installation
himself, and his childhood desire to build a robot out of the junk
in his room–to help him clean up the junk in his room. He was
actually taught econ by Paul Krugman himself at MIT, though he
rejects his old professor’s conclusions on political economy.

Massie and his wife launched their own company after meeting at

SensAble Devices, which created products that allowed users —
designers, engineers, whoever — to feel digital objects physically.
A toy engineer could put his hands in the device and get the
tactile sensation of an object that had been created only on the

The very positive profile concludes with:

The red hue of his district means Massie is safe from a
Democratic challenger. And given his deep grass-roots support,
Massie is likely to have significant leeway on how he votes without
risking a primary challenge.

Effectively the first tea party member of the 113th Congress —
and the only one with a vote on the fiscal cliff — Massie is
uniquely positioned to help write the next chapter of the tea
party’s role in Congress.

See Mike Riggs’
Reason profile of Massie
from back in March.

Kerry Benvolio, incoming to Congress from Michigan’s

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