Libertarian candidate for District 27 U.S. Representative Ed Mishou believes conservative values are needed to bring positive change to the district and the nation.

Mishou served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1983, retiring with the rank of colonel. During his military service, he earned four air medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit.

He then moved into the private sector, where he worked for E-Systems, a Fortune 500 company that took on defense contracts.

Mishou received a bachelor's degree in business from Colorado State University in 1969, and completed his master's degree in management at the University of Northern Colorado in 1973.

A native of Dallas, Mishou and his wife, Nancy, moved to Brownsville five years ago to retire. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.

His political activism began two years ago, as he became dissatisfied with the state of politics in the nation.

"I was very concerned about the direction I saw our country taking, and started becoming a very vocal advocate and trying to get people involved and paying attention, not with any intention of trying to become a candidate, but just trying to get people aware," Mishou said. "I presumed out of that there would be viable candidates who would rise up who we could support, but we really didn't see any."

Mishou said he has generally considered himself to be a "Reagan Republican," although he now identifies himself as an "Independent Libertarian."

"I've always been a Republican. Really, I'm a Reagan Conservative," Mishou said.

"Two years ago, the Republican party wasn't doing us any big favors either. They were really starting to trash the Constitution. I found, when I looked around, that the Libertarian platform and approach was more in line with my own personal values and judgment."

Mishou said his primary goals, if elected, would be to curb spending and reduce the size of government.

"We have to see what we can do from a federal perspective, to enhance the economy and the job market," Mishou said.

"We need to encourage business, rather than doing regulatory things that discourage free enterprise and business."

Mishou said he would also work to improve the infrastructure of the ports at Brownsville and Corpus Christi.

"The new Panama Canal will be opening in about 2014, and that's going to bring a lot of the large, trans-Pacific ship traffic into the Gulf.," Mishou said." "We need to be able to accommodate that at the port down here and the Port of Corpus Christi, because it will help the entire economy in the Valley, South Texas and Northern Mexico."

Strengthening the economy in the region will have the added benefit of reducing violence along the border, Mishou said, which will open the door for new immigration policies.

"Unauthorized crossings must be held to an absolute minimum," Mishou said.

"I'm really in favor of more open borders, more realistic visa applications, and opening the border for business, commerce, labor, family visitation and tourism- but through authorized entry points only."

Mishou said another priority would be to repeal the Comprehensive Healthcare Bill passed by Congress earlier this year.

"The healthcare program that was passed is a major catastrophe, particularly for the people here," Mishou said. "I would like to see that repealed, if there are enough votes to do that. If not, then I think we need to go through and take all the negative aspects of that program and kill them one at a time."

Regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mishou said troops should be withdrawn as quickly as possible, and the government should put measures in place to prevent the Executive Branch from initiating military operations such as those in the future.

"I think we need to take a good, hard look at drawing that down and getting them out of there as fast as we can, and never again should we be putting our troops in harm's way, unless it has become a congressional mandate," Mishou said. "You need to have a clearly defined military objective, and we don't seem to have that."

Mishou said he offers a clear alternative to the two other candidates in the race.

"(Ortiz) has forgotten his role in Washington, having been there as long as he has. He seems to pay more attention to special interest groups and to party leadership than he does to the people within the district that he work's for," Mishou said. "Farenthold has no experience, qualifications or background to do the job. He just doesn't have the resume that is going to Washington. You're looking at someone who's got the resum/, who's got the background and can do the job."