A 101-year-old man says age has nothing to do with politics, and he is proving it by throwing his hat into the political ring.
Sarasota resident Joe Newman says he is ready to fight for issues he believes in, such as increasing minimum wage and offering healthcare for all. He is running for the 16th Congressional District seat as a write-in candidate.
“I say write-in, because I want to feel free to criticize the Democrats of the Republicans,” Joe told WWSB.
He describes himself as an Anthro-political progressive who reads books on history and philosophy.
For all his critics, he says that yes, despite his age, he is both physically and mentally fit to do that job. More than that, he feels everyone should play a role in bettering society.
“You learn through life you have certain responsibilities. And if you don’t fulfill them, how can you look in the mirror?” he told WFLA.
Incumbent Vern Buchanan is a powerful opponent, he says, but he disagrees with him so strongly on some issues that he feels he needs to step up.
“When you think what the drift this society’s going in, and you think you can put an oar in the water and change the direction, you should do it.”
Newman first entered politics to help with daughter, who was injured at birth.
“I was part of a movement to create programs for retarded children when there were no programs for retarded children,” he says. Later he worked with the Social Security Administration.
Joe knows the odds of him beating Buchanan are low, but that’s not stopping him.
“There is nothing that can be lost if I can get you and others to think about what the issues are,” he says.
For those of you curious as to what Newman’s secret to living to age 100, he says he doesn’t know, but that it could be because he never “smoked, drank, or chased women,” according to WWSB.