Last week Olympia Snowe, the senior Senator here in Maine set the political world on its head with her unexpected announcement that she is retiring. Seems she is tired of the shit and ready to move on or to say that in a nicer fashion “Ms. Snowe, who was considered a shoo-in for re-election, denounced the “atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies” that she said had become “pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions. “As was reported in the Feb 29 issue of the New York Times.
No matter what, things are getting exciting up here in my corner of the world. As of this weekend there were quite a few folks who had taken out nomination papers to vie for the one Senate seat that will be on the ballot this fall. Fun times indeed.
Well it turns out one of the Independents who has taken out papers is a guy by the name of Aaron “AJ” Marston. Turns out he so happens to be a friend of mine. AJ likes to talk politics… a lot! Like many of us he is just a man trying to live his live and tired of the fact that for every one step of progress, inevitably you get set back two steps. I admit when AJ said he was going to run, my mind said sure ya are! Well he has started the process and while none of us know where he will end up, the fact that he is willing to do more than run his mouth is enough for me to want to do all I can to make folks aware of who he is. Lucky for AJ, I have this little space and a big mouth.
So who is Aaron Marston? Well what follows is a piece about Aaron in his own words, if you are in Maine feel free to share.
On Thursday, March 1, 2012, a call was made to the Secretary of State in Augusta, Maine and papers were taken out for the soon to be vacated U.S. Senate seat of Olympia Snowe. That call was made from a cold kitchen in Auburn, by a couple drinking coffee in their pajamas.
The papers have mentioned his name, his party, but nothing else. This is simply because no one knows who he is, with the exception of his friends, family and a few hundred Twitter followers who he announced his intentions to on Thursday. Many questioned his intentions, and why, he as a virtual nobody, would bother to attempt to obtain the 4000 signatures needed to make the ballot in November.
Aaron Marston, better known as A.J., is a 36 year old native Mainer and has been a single father to three amazing children, ages 14, 11 and 10 for the last seven years when he moved back to Maine and in with his parents, to help provide a stable home life for his three young children. A year ago, through a chance encounter on Facebook, he reunited with his high school sweetheart. His family is currently in transition, moving back in with his parents at the end of the month.
AJ works for Bangor Waterfront Productions in the summer as a rigger and stagehand. This winter, to offset his seasonal schedule, he began working at Lost Valley as a snowmaker and lift operator. He currently does not have a full time year round position and relies on Maine Care and VA benefits for his limited healthcare needs.
Why run? This is the million dollar question. AJ jokes that he is running because he needs a job, but it’s not that far from the truth. Anyone is supposed to be able to run for office in the United States, so this is an attempt to prove that this can happen, if you have enough heart. AJ wants to prove that you can run, without a big bank account or corporate sponsors…all you need is 4000 people willing to let you try. Easy, right?
AJ was born at Portland Osteopathic Hospital in 1975, educated in Maine schools, both public and private, graduating from Greely High School in 1993. He is less than one year away from a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Secondary education. He was raised as a military brat, by a father in the Coast Guard (who is also an Ordained Pastor) and a mother who was a librarian. His parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. He also has a younger sister. AJ served in the U.S. Army and Reserves from 1992 to 2001.
AJ is right in the middle of most issues.
Gay Marriage – He feels that the government needs to be restrained in what they are involved in, such as gay marriage. Marriage is a biblical term, and it should be up to the churches to decide if they wish to perform ceremonies. He would rather see the government go to civil unions for everyone and leave the argument on terminology up to the churches.
Abortion – In regards to abortion, he feels every woman should have a choice on what happens to her body, never the government. It impedes on a female’s personal right to regulate what she can or cannot do to her body.
Gun Control – AJ is an avid shooter, hunter and gun owner. He has taught his children how to safely handle fire arms and to respect the power of owning one. He believes it is a primary right as an American to own firearms. Legislation to make it difficult to own or possess a firearm by a law abiding US Citizen is contrary to our Constitution.
If you would like to know more about AJ, or if you are a registered Maine voter and would like to sign his petition for US Senate, please email him at MarstonforSenate@gmail.com.
You can also follow him on Twitter – @Marston4Senate
We are also currently looking for volunteers to help us gather signatures.