Sarasota, Florida -- The 16th Congressional District race representing Manatee and Sarasota counties has a candidate who says experience matters -- not age. Joe Newman is running against the 4-term Republican Vern Buchanan.
Joe Newman says he owes his dedication to serve to his parents. Daily family conversations would start with this question, "What have you done today that makes it better than yesterday?" he recalls.
Joe says his parents were ousted from Russia to Siberia in the 1800's for speaking out against the government before immigrating to America. Today at 101, Joe pays tribute to his parents as he's done throughout his life and is trying to create change.
"Let's try to replace a purchased Congress with a purposed Congress. They have created a lack of faith in government," Joe says.
The Centenarian is running for Congress as a write-in candidate for now. He says age doesn't matter.
"If you have something to give, you should give it."
Joe has 101 years of life experience to give. A Notre Dame graduate he's among the first employees of the Social Security Administration. Joe and his first wife created a center in Indiana for the mentally disabled called Logan Center in memory of their only child, a daughter named Rita Joe who was mentally disabled. The center has been around for more than 60 years.
Joe says he's lived by the words his father told him during his Bar Mitzvah, "You are responsible to and for your fellow man."
Today, the self proclaimed Anthropological Progressive and liberal believes government isn't the enemy and says it can make society better if used correctly.
"Government is the only tool we have to create things we want: good neighborhoods, good schools, good roads, whatever."
Joe believes in taxes as a means to provide everyone with equal opportunities from health care to an education.
"If there's an American Dream then let's try to make that dream come true."
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