From the community

Charles Bragdon to run for Congress

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, at 2:19 p.m.

Charles E. Bragdon, former Portland mayoral candidate, announced Friday he is running for a First Congressional District seat.

From Bragdon’s perspective:

There are many people out there who will be wondering why a simple man with only a high school diploma feels I am qualified to run for the United States Congress.

I am running for the United States Congress because I truly feel the time has come for someone who is an Average Joe like myself who understands what it is really like to live under or barely above poverty guidelines and truly fight to survive everyday. For far too long we have been represented in Washington by people who have never been where we are and really have no idea what we endure on a daily basis. Many people feel this makes me less qualified to run than others, I however feel it makes me more qualified as I truly understand the plight of the people from a very personal level.

I was born poor and grew up living in Riverton Park in Portland, Maine. My parents raised six of us while struggling to live just above the poverty guidelines. They taught us that it didn’t matter how much money you have, you can still have a successful life. They helped me understand that success in life wasn’t about money, but by how much you help those around you and how hard you work. I am not saying they gave away everything to others, but that they were always there when it mattered and that showed me true success is living everyday to do your best and give your best in all you do.

I have continued to struggle with poverty for the better part of my adult life and have even been homeless for a short time. I overcame homelessness by continuing to give my all even though I had very little to give. I continue to struggle even today with poverty and probably will like most of America as long as we continue to keep sending the same people to Washington, Augusta and City Hall to represent us. I am truly one of the 99%.

I have endured losing everything in my life more than once and have even had to file for bankruptcy after I was sick for a long period of time and fell too far behind on my bills to catch up. I still have debt I can not repay at this time and will never try to pretend that I am anyone different than who I am. So why does any of this make me a better candidate for the US Congress?

The fact is I am no better than anyone for this job or any other job. I think we all have the same potential if we continue to put forth our best effort and keep an open mind to change and necessity. Sure some would argue that they have more education and experience, so that makes them more qualified. I disagree however with this perspective. No amount of education could ever compare to the life experience you get while living your life under extreme conditions all of the time.

I admit my lack of a college degree has had its impact on my life, but it certainly has not prevented me from becoming an educated man. I spend every day trying to learn something new from others. I don’t seek to be the smartest guy in the room as I am sure there will always be someone else smarter than me. But to do the right things does not mean you have to be the smartest. Knowledge does not equal intelligence. I don’t remember who said it to me, I only remember that when they said this it had an eye opening effect on me, They said,”A truly intelligent man realizes he may not be the smartest guy in the room, but at least he is intelligent enough to surround himself with those who are.”

So if I am not the smartest guy in the room and I only want to surround myself with those that are, how does that make me qualified for this job? Quite simply put, that is where you all come in. I plan to seek the input of the people continually through out my campaign and in Washington if I win. I think there is no one smarter than those who are living through the crisis we are trying to overcome. Most, not all mind you, but most politicians seek the advice of others once they get elected, but they fail to continue to touch base with those they claim to represent.

If you think I am wrong on this, consider the landmark decision made recently by the US Supreme Court when they declared that Corporations are in fact citizens and should have an equal vote on election day. This decision happened because we have allowed enough corporations to pay their way into the Senate, Congress, State Houses and city halls of America. We have allowed corporate America to control the outcome of elections by running negative ads to oppose anyone who they don’t think will vote in their favor.

I for one will never accept corporate donations for my campaign and will only accept contributions from individuals. I am running as an Independent so everyone knows I am not bought and paid for by anyone other the people I claim to represent. I will also not be taking any money from any of the three major political parties, nor have they offered at the time this note was written. This is the way I prefer it, as I seek to represent the people and the US Constitution and have no interest in towing any party line for any amount of money.

Follow us on Facebook at: Charles E Bragdon for US Congress

If you want to help support my campaign, you can send donations to me directly at the following address:

Charles E Bragdon for US Congress

31 Munjoy South

Portland, Maine 04101

For more information about Charles E Bragdon for US Congress, or to schedule an interview with Charles E Bragdon call (207) 615-9353 or email charlesebragdonforuscongress@gmail.com

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