Cole trying to raise party profile

As the Libertarian candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Christopher Cole says he's running to advocate smaller government and to raise the profile of his political party.

Cole, 44, wants to abolish the federal income tax, limit military intervention in Iraq and Europe and reduce illegal immigration by eliminating some wage-and-hour laws.

He is a longtime Libertarian activist and a contract postal worker who lives in Charlotte. Since 1996, he has run for offices ranging from the U.S. House to Mecklenburg commissioner. Several times, Cole was the first openly gay candidate to seek the office.

“My qualification is that I'm a working man,” Cole said. “That means I share with most of the population the consequences of government. I have to work harder in order to pay taxes. I have to be afraid for my safety because the government has provoked terrorism around the world and now it's coming here. I have to pay higher prices for gasoline and food because of government regulations.”