(NewsNation) — Santa Claus is coming… to Congress?
Claus, 74, is among 48 candidates to replace late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).
Claus is a two-term alderman for the city of North Pole, Alaska. He also served as an assistant deputy police commissioner with the New York City Police Department and a member of an advisory board for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“It’s definitely not a joke. I have a lot of experience before my Santa years that I think applies to this particular seat,” Claus said during a Thursday night appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”
Claus is a longtime advocate for the health, safety and well-being of children and believes that all members of Congress need to find common ground.
“I was born in Washington, DC. I feel good there,” he said.
“Years ago I was on a ‘Santa’s Bless the Children Tour,’ where I was on Capitol Hill, and a lot of people, a lot of congressmen, see 20 to 30 people a day, they ask them something,” he said. “And when I was following up with the staff after my visit, to talk about the health, safety and welfare of the children with whoever the legislator, without exception, they said, you are the one they remembered.”
Claus says he is very well received because he finds common ground with people.
The name change came to him during prayer while living in Lake Tahoe.
“Right after my prayer, maybe 20 seconds later, this white car pulled up the road, the windows were open, and this male voice shouted, ‘Santa Claus! I love you!’ In February, 20 seconds into that prayer, so I kind of took that as a sign and went to the county clerk the next day and went through their name change process.
Claus will face off in a primary election in which the top four contenders will advance to a runoff in August.