Local man is first openly Muslim VP candidate

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Will Coley has his hands full raising his young children. But, if raising young kids wasn't enough, he's also running a national political campaign.

Coley is a Vice Presidential candidate, representing the Libertarian Party. He's running alongside Darryl W. Perry, the presidential candidate.

"I've been probably on the edge of a mild anxiety attack. I haven't slept much in the past couple of days," says Coley.

He's not just a Vice Presidential candidate, he's this country's first openly Muslim Vice Presidential candidate.

"It's daunting, humbling and quite intimidating," he says.

Coley says he made his decision to run, in part, because of some of the policies concerning Muslims that are currently being pushed by other candidates.

"People like Donald Trump talk about closing borders to Muslims. Will people who support those policies come visit my children and tell them why their grandmother and grandfather can't come visit because they live outside the country and they're Muslim?," asks Coley. "I don't' have an accent. I don't look like I came from somewhere else. I'm from here. My grandfather was born here and my great grandfather is from here. I am the human cost of the policies that are being advocated. Someone needs to give a voice to that in this election cycle."

Coley says his insight of both the Muslim faith and culture could help build U.S. relations with other countries instead of destroying them.

"I can bring that to the table and nobody else running in this election can do that," he says.

Coley hopes to give a voice to Muslims across the country, but most importantly, the ones that are right in front of him.

"I was raised in East Tennessee. We believe in things around here and one of those things is that we give our children something better than what they have. I couldn't look at myself later on if I didn't do something about it or at least try," he says.