Page 3 Profile: Joe Newman, Congress Contender


Oscar Quine@oscarquine
Saturday 22 February 2014 01:00
Joe Newman, Congress Contender
Joe Newman, Congress Contender

Hello Grandpa.

That’s great-great grandpa to you and the old adage respect your elders should be especially adhered to in the case of 101-year-old Joe Newman. He might just be about to become a very powerful man.

How’s that?

The resident of Florida - a state famous for its aging population and retirement communities – has launched a campaign to run for the US Congress in November, making him the oldest ever contender.

You can’t trump experience.

He certainly thinks so. On his website,, the son of 20th-century Russian immigrants says his age is his greatest asset. “At 101, my ‘fruit of experience’ far surpasses everyone else in this congressional race,” Newman wrote. A win would make him the oldest currently serving member of Congress - beating Ralph Hall, 90, by over a decade.

What are his policies?

Describing himself as “a fiery advocate of social change for more than a half-century”, he plans to run on a platform that includes increasing the minimum wage and providing health care for all. He’s said he hopes his story will: “inspire citizens of all ages and walks of life to get involved, get engaged and to become active patriot leaders”.

A social warrior!

Indeed. Living through the Great Depression and two world wars, Newman directly assisted with the initial launch of the nation’s Social Security program. Now living alone, he says he keeps his mind in tip-top condition by reading newspapers, and history and politics books.

Does he have a chance?

The November midterms signal a big reshuffle in US politics: the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate seats are up for grabs. But it is, of course, too early to say, although Newman is already up against four other, considerably younger, candidates.

And a catchy campaign slogan?

Not quite. But we like this, from his very own Twitter account: “A vote for the old man is a vote for the New Man!”

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