The month of November in Maine will consist of elections for several different positions, including seats in Congress. The election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018.
Jonathan Fulford is a Democratic candidate running for a seat in Congress. Originally a Pennsylvania native, Fulford moved to Maine after he graduated high school. Initially, he lived in South Paris, and then Jackman. When he was 20, he moved to Monroe. Since then, he has lived and worked on farms and eventually built a farm with his brother.
“I figured farmers have to know everything,” Fulford said. Through these experiences, he created a company with a few other men, but now he and his sons run it. He has learned his skills through farm work, and also has hands-on experience in carpentry.
Fulford considers himself to be a family-oriented man, with four children and five grandchildren. “I have missed being with my family during this campaign. It takes a lot of time and energy to be campaigning, which takes me away from my family. They mean everything to me, and I am very proud of all of them. They are good people and they do good things and they are fun to be with.”
“Because I have five grandkids, I have become more concerned about the future for them and the rest of us. That is why I am running for Congress. I am a hundred percent invested in a good future for everyone. I have experience in being involved in my community through citizen lobbying and have been involved in several non-profits. I also serve on the Belfast Energy Committee and do a lot of volunteering. It is very important to be involved within your community,” Fulford added.
Fulford is concerned about many issues, including climate change, Medicare and inequality of wealth.
“Climate change is one thing that is a really big issue, and as a country, we have to address this at both the governmental and private business level. This also creates a potential for new and really good jobs throughout both Maine and the rest of the country. By creating renewable energy resources, you open up the door for jobs such as construction, wiring, plumbing, window installation, etc., which creates a good incentive for people to be able to afford it. Creating jobs and making things renewable for everyone is important. Many people already have these skills; it is time to apply them and help to create jobs and focus on investing in a strong and healthy environment moving forward.”
When it comes to Medicare, Fulford believes that there should be a single-paid Medicare for all.
“It is time for us to move forward,” he began. “We need health care instead of supporting large insurance companies, executives, and bureaucrats that do nothing for delivering health care. This is vital for rural communities, as it could potentially save lives. If you do not have healthcare nearby, you could be at risk. The inability to provide good and affordable health care is dragging down our economy. I also think that the opioid crisis needs to be addressed through health care.”
Next, he talked about the inequality of wealth, income and power. “This is really rigging our politics and our economy because it only benefits the wealthy and powerful,” he said. “Until we tackle this and make sure that everyone pays a fair share and we have the appropriate resources, nothing can really change.”
Fulford has a plan to tackle this issue involving signing and agreeing to the Pine Tree Pledge, which he has already done. This document states that by agreeing to it, one is agreeing to never take money from corporate lobbyists or corporate PACs (political action committees), accept dark money, or commit to a PAC that co-mingles with corporations and receives more than 10 percent of its funds through the corporation.
If he is elected, Fulford hopes to address a more federal issue of money controlling and limiting. “Too often, I think politicians, regardless of whatever rhetoric they use, vote consistently in favor of large corporations in order to make them wealthy, which costs us as citizens more in taxes and creates less transparency and does not help make our government stronger,” he said.
“Government officials should work for people instead of the donors. Yes, it works for wealthy people, but does not work for the people of Maine. There are few people of great wealth and power that will benefit, but a vast majority of us will suffer.”
To appeal to many college students, Fulford plans to push for free higher education available at all public universities as well as a student loan forgiveness plan that includes lower interest rates from commercial banks.
“People move out of the state after graduating,” Fulford said. “It is hitting our rural communities hard when students graduate with huge student debt, and moving out of state is the best option for them to pay off their debts.”
“I see this as a really good time to be engaged and alive today because there is so much potential for change,” Fulford said. “And we have the ability to make changes to the society since the FDR era, as long as we can capture the momentum and create a much more fair and abundant future than where we are headed now. The level of engagement and concern among our culture gives us a potential for change.”
Fulford plans to make a few trips to the Orono area and will release more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, he is happy to come to campus to meet with various student groups to talk about his platform. Jonathan Fulford’s contact information can be found on his website.