Sarasota man, 101, running for Congress - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota man, 101, running for Congress

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Joe Newman announced his run for Florida’s 16th Congressional District Joe Newman announced his run for Florida’s 16th Congressional District
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Sarasota man says he has the experience necessary to earn a seat in Congress.

At 101-years old, Joe Newman certainly knows a thing or two, so the centenarian is launching a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Newman is competing for Florida's 16th Congressional District; fighting for Vern Buchanan's seat.

After living for 101-years, Newman has seen what this country is capable of and he believes Congress can do much better.

It can be said that experience is the greatest teacher and Newman has plenty he wants to share.

"You learn through life you have certain responsibilities. And if you don't fulfill them, how can you look in the mirror?"

He has seen this country go through some challenges, such as the Great Depression when he was 16-years old.

Newman's mother ran a grocery store in their Indiana home and she used food to help pay off the mortgage. Later, after graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Newman got a job spreading awareness about a new federal program called Social Security.

"That was our job, to sell them why a program like Social Security is essential to the economy and to society,"  Said Newman. "You had the same attitudes; we don't want government involved. And they forget what government is, they forget that government is society's tool to manage things."

Now Joe Newman has a new message to share; he feels the government should be focused on improving society and not catering to special interests. So he's running for Congress.

He wants to see a government that can properly fund Social Security, expand Medicare, and eliminate poverty. By running, he hopes to not only raise awareness, but inspire others to believe the same.

"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!" he said. "What is the best thing our society can do and what is the responsibility of our society?"

He continued, "My hope is that we get a chance to speak out and make people reflect on what you want from your society."

Newman is no stranger to making a difference. Years ago when he lived in Indiana, he and his wife gave birth to a mentally handicapped daughter named Rita Jo. There were few programs available to help her, so Newman waged a campaign and gathered support. Thanks in large part to his effort, there's now services and schools in Indiana that take care of the mentally handicapped.

He will be running as a write-in candidate for a Congressional seat that covers Sarasota and Manatee Counties during this fall's election. Learn more about Joe Newman on his website, www.joenewman101.com.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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