James Hinton makes the move from online poker to politics, aiming to unseat congressman Mike Thompson.
The 39-yeard-old candidate used to make thousands of dollars playing online poker sites in the US when it was still legal. This year, he decided it was time for a new challenge: competing for a new career in politics. Hinton will be running in the heavily Democratic 5th Congressional District, against Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson.
“I’m running for U.S. Congress … in order to work with and for the people to protect our beautiful God-given environment, strengthen our economy and improve our health,” his campaign leaflet says.
“I think people are fed up with the idea of career politicians. Most people I talk to say they want term limits on politicians. I feel the community is ready for a fresh new perspective.”
From poker to politics
Hinton says he was doing pretty well playing online poker, until authorities changed American gambling laws
and banned internet gambling. In a recent interview with the Times-Herald, he described himself as a social libertarian. Among other things, he believes marijuana should be legalized and Wall Street should be taxed.
The former poker player’s main rival, Mike Thompson, has been a congressional representative since 1999. Before that he served several terms in the Legislature. Hinton will also be competing against Douglas Van Raam, who ran for president in 2012.