Ed Thelander, a retired Navy SEAL from Bristol, has announced his campaign for Maine’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Thelander, a Republican, declared his candidacy at an event in Bath on Saturday, where he criticized the current Congress.

Ed Thelander announced his candidacy in Maine’s 1st Congressional District. Courtesy photo

“I am not exaggerating when I look around – and hardly recognize our country today,” he said in a statement on his campaign’s website.  “The laws Congress has passed recently are bad; but the things they keep promising make no sense at all.”

He highlighted federal enhanced unemployment benefits that were enacted to help those who were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as proposals to eliminate student-loan debt.

“Excuse me, but who pays for this?” Thelander asked. According to his campaign page biography, Thelander retired from the Navy and has served in combat, including tours in Afghanistan.

A search of the Federal Elections Commission data base, which tracks federal campaign finances, showed Thelander has not yet registered his campaign. Under federal election law a candidate must register with the commission within 15 days of raising or spending $5,000 or more on their campaign.

The FEC data base shows that Pingree’s campaign has registered f0r 2022 and has just over $507,000 in cash on hand.

Pingree, who was first elected in 2008, is serving her seventh consecutive term representing Maine’s 1st District. She beat a Republican challenger in 2020 with more than 62 percent of the vote.

Thelander’s campaign did not immediately respond to messages seeking additional information Monday.

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