Last month -- on one of the most beautiful days of our all-too-short-summer here in Maine, I was proud to have America's newest Member of Congress, Donna Edwards, come to Maine to support my campaign for Congress.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-04) is a good friend -- I've known her since we worked together on media and campaign finance reform. Since that time, I've watched her political career with respect and admiration and enjoyed every chance we've had to work together. From her inspiring insurgent campaign in 2006 to her upset primary win over eight-term incumbent Congressman Al Wynn earlier this year, I've long known that Donna is destined for great things. And she's just getting started.
The pundits and political establishment were impressed and surprised when Donna won that primary earlier this year -- "shocked" was a word I heard a few times. But many of us saw it coming: not only are Americans fed up with the pain and suffering the Bush Administration has inflicted on us, they have also run out patience with politicians of either party who are unwilling to stand up the vested special interests who have little interest in any real, significant change. Donna remains a poster child for the "more and better Democrats" movement, and her victory demonstrated that voters want Democrats to be Democrats, standing up for progressive values like ending the war, sensible energy policy, and guaranteed affordable health care for all.
Donna showed her courage and independence when one of her first votes in Congress was against FISA -- and against the leadership of her own party. For anyone who still needed proof that Donna is going to be the kind of bold, independent leaders we need in Congress, that ought to do it.
We've posted a couple of videos from Donna's visit here in Maine--including one in which she talks about that FISA vote -- on my website website at http://chelliepingree.com/journal/live/americas_newest_member_of_cong.html. I am really proud of Donna and very honored for her support of my campaign.
The country is better served by having people like Donna in Congress. I only hope I have the privilege of joining her there next January.
Chellie Pingree is a Democratic candidate for Congress in Maine's 1st District.