One of Maine’s longest-serving public officials could face an opponent in the June 2022 Democratic primary to represent Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

Rep. Chellie Pingree could face a challenge on June 14 from 26-year-old Aaron Amede, who launched his campaign Monday.

Aaron Amede Photo courtesy Aaron Amede

Amede still has to secure at least 1,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot and has not yet raised any campaign funds, but in an interview Monday night Amede, who has never held public office, feels confident that he can mount a challenge to the longtime congresswoman.

In 2008, Pingree became the first woman elected to Congress from Maine’s 1st Congressional District. The headline in Amede’s news release issued Monday states that he would like to make history as well by becoming “the first Black man to represent Maine in Congress if elected.”

In a telephone interview Monday night, Amede said he moved to Maine in 2019 after leaving the Army, where he served as a specialist in the 2nd Battalion 70th Armed Regiment. Amede is single and lives in Saco. A certified nursing assistant, he works as a traveling COVID-19 tester in various York County public schools.

He is the son of immigrants. His mother came to Orlando, Florida, in 1990, following a coup in Trinidad and Tobago. Amede said he grew up in Orlando in a low-income family setting, the eldest of six siblings. He credits his mother, who was a single parent in a new country, for working tirelessly to provide him with a secure upbringing and future.


After high school, he became a corrections officer in Florida, a role that gave him perspective on how law enforcement operates and that changes in the criminal justice system are needed.

Amede said he decided to run against Pingree because she has been in office for too long.

“We need a fresh pair of eyes,” he said.

If he defeats Pingree in the primary and is elected in November, Amede said he will advocate for term limits for all members of Congress, a ban on all stock trading by members of Congress, and will fight to get “dark money out of politics so the wealthy and well-connected can no longer have unfair control and influence over politics.”

“We must return the power of the peoples’ house to the people, we must elect a new generation of American public servants who will go to Washington with a fresh perspective, one focused on public service and giving a voice to those that are so often forgotten post-election day,” Amede said in a statement

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