The Rev. Wiley Drake, a Southern Baptist pastor from Buena Park, California and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, has announced he is running for president of the United States in 2016.
Drake, who has no party affiliation, will run alongside Blossom Brackman, the Chairman of the Congressional Women of Sovereign Authority International and prayer deputy for The Congressional Prayer Conference of Washington DC.
"I decided to run for President of the United States because we are in trouble in this country, politically speaking," Drake, 71, told the Gospel Herald. "The Democrats have done a lot of damage, but the Republicans have done almost as much. Party politics have ruined this country. It's time we got back to our history of ministers of the Gospel running for office without a party."
This is not Drake's first time running for office; the Arkansas native ran for Vice President of the United States in 2008, along with presidential candidate Alan Keyes, on the American Independent Party ticket in the state of California. He was also a write-in candidate for president in 2012 with vice presidential candidate Robert Ornelas.
Although he currently serves as the central committee chairman of the Independent Party, Drake, also a self-proclaimed "former Republican," says he intentionally did not ask to run on their party platform.
"When I am elected as president, I will have no obligations to any party," he said. "We want to get America back to one nation under God. We, as politicians, need to be responsible only to Almighty God. Not Allah, not some other god, but the God that this nation was founded on."
When asked to identify his political platform, Drake offered three simple words: Justice, mercy, and faith.
"We must get back to justice," he said. "The justice system of this nation was based on the Word of God, and we must get back to that. We must show mercy to those that want to come to this country - we are a nation of immigrants. Mercy must be extended to those who want to leave other countries and come to the United States for true freedom. Mercy must also be shown to the seniors in our nation through a better healthcare system."
Drake also emphasized the importance of reestablishing the faith of the public in the U.S. government: "People don't trust politicians," he contended. "Very few people vote. If people had faith in their political leaders, they would be more likely to vote, especially on controversial issues."
Instead of raising money through campaign ads or political action committees, Drake plans to fund his campaign both personally and through private donations.
"We won't be raising money. We're not going to be typical politicians. It is unjust and illegal what the party politics is doing in raising funds," he said.
"When I'm elected president, we will seek to glorify god and promote the Judeo-Christian faith and once again establish righteous men and women in politics," Drake charged. "It's time for the Judeo-Christian voice to be heard by our policy makers. They can try to kick the word of God out of politics, but they will never stop the voice of God through 'We the People of the United States.' We are the People of His Presence."
To learn more about Rev. Wiley Drake, visit his campaign website.