“It is critical that we return our country to a thriving and functioning democracy, and fighting for that requires eternal vigilance.”
Chellie Pingree is an experienced legislator with bold ideas and a clear vision for the future. A candidate for US Congress in Maine’s First District, Chellie wants to make our country more responsive to the needs of its citizens and ensure that democracy flourishes to its fullest extent. “We live in the home of the first great democracy on the planet. We must restore, preserve, and defend the process of our democracy if we are to remain proud of our country and its place in the world.”
As a dedicated public servant for fifteen years, Chellie understands the many enormous issues facing our democracy and political process. That is why, if elected, she would work to enact stronger campaign finance laws that end the influence of special interest money in elections. Chellie wants to change the political process so that a candidate “can run for office and convey his beliefs to voters without being a millionaire.”
Chellie’s previous attempt at federal office was a testament to her dedication to principles. In 2002, she ran against an incumbent Republican senator and lost in large part because of her stand against the impending Iraq War. “[The war] was wrong,” the organic farmer and small business owner says today. “Everywhere I went, people begged me to stand up and say so. And I knew myself that I could not compromise on that point.” Chellie believes that Congress now needs to immediately end the Iraq occupation and begin repairing relationships with the allies whom we have alienated. “There can be no future for our children and grandchildren if we do not move towards creating peace in the world and reducing the conflict we have created,” she said.
Beyond the war and reforming the democratic process, Chellie is also passionate about health care. In 2000, she sponsored a bill that would regulate the price of prescription drugs. While commonplace today, her bill was the first of its kind. Chellie faced massive opposition from the pharmaceutical lobby, but her hard work paid off when the bill passed by a nearly unanimous vote. Despite the challenges of taking on such the powerful special interest of the pharmaceutical companies, not once did Chellie waver in her commitment to doing the right thing. “[As a legislator] you have a responsibility to fight to win,” she said. “In the end, this is why we are given the privilege to represent our constituents.”
Chelllie will be a visionary voice in Congress who does not stray from the principles that brought her into public service. We at Twenty-First Century Democrats support both her and her ideas for America, and we look forward to seeing her lead Maine’s 1st District into a brighter future for us all.
Race Type: Open Seat (currently Democratic) Primary Election Opponent: Mike Brennan, Adam Cote, Mark Lawrence & Ethan Strimling Primary Election Date: June 10, 2008 Primary Election Result: Won Primary General Election Opponent: Charles Edward Summers Jr. General Election Date: November 4, 2008 General Election Results: Won, 54.9% – 45.1%
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