Write-in candidates don’t generally attract national attention — that is, unless they’ve happened to live for more than a century.
Joe Newman recently announced his write-in campaign in Florida’s 16th District, a decision that probably would have gone unnoticed if not for the fact that he’s 101.
Newman’s longevity gives him a pretty unique background on some of the most salient issues of the day.
Entitlements? Newman worked for the Social Security Administration in the 1930s, telling USA Today he helped explain the program “to whoever would listen.”
Russia? Newman’s parents were exiled to Siberia by the czar around the beginning of the 20th century.
In an interview with television station WFLA, he described himself as an “Anthropological Progressive.” As a long-shot challenger to Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Newman has identified the expansion of Medicaid and combating poverty as two of his top issues.
“If people are saying, who is this fool at 101 and running? Call me a fool. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to get out and convince John and convince Jim, hey think! What is the best thing our society can do and what is the responsibility of our society?” Newman told WFLA.
And Newman has already acclimated to 21st century politics, with a Twitter account that is used mostly to thank media outlets for covering his campaign.
Thanks for running the story @Gawker
— Joe Newman (@JoeNewman101) February 21, 2014
(Photo via television station WFLA)
This post has been updated.