Hi, my name is Gene Scharer and I am a pro-union progressive Democrat running for Congress in Arizona’s District 6. I was born and raised in Michigan, but I made Arizona my home 33 years ago. I’m running for Congress because the Republican incumbent continually puts the interests of corporations ahead of those of veterans, working people, and retirees. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1969, I began an honorable 22-year career as a teacher, but that was interrupted when I was drafted in 1971. My brother and I both served as artillerymen in the Army and this resulted in a minor disability for me, but my brother was less fortunate. He was medically discharged and spent a year recovering in a VA hospital. Now the VA was there for us, but many veterans with serious health issues are now confronted with unacceptably long wait times. Besides my career as a teacher, I was also a UPS driver and Teamsters union member for nine years. So you see, for a person running for Congress, I have an unusual mix of blue-collar and white-collar experience. As a veteran, UPS driver, and teacher, I’d like to suggest that I’m the “Right Mix for District 6.” Along the way, my wife and I have owned three small businesses, so we know how difficult it can be to make a profit while making payroll each week and trying to compete with the big guys. Vickie and I have been married for 46 years and are blessed to have two children and four grandchildren all living here in the valley. I guess I inherited my interest in politics from my parents. My father was an education lobbyist in Washington And my mother was a staffer for a Republican Congressman. In 2012, I was the Democratic nominee who challenged representative Trent Franks, and, while unsuccessful, I received more than 96,000 votes and gained some valuable experience. As a retired teacher, I’m fortunate to have a pension, but many retirees don’t have a pension or savings, and 66% now say they’ve been forced to choose between food and medication sometime during the past year. Social Security and Medicare were created by the Democrats to mitigate poverty in situations just like that. Sadly, Republicans are continually trying to privatize and make cuts to these vital programs. If elected, I will fight to protect them both from the greedy hands of Wall Street, because private profit is an unnecessary cost and incompatible with quality. Isn’t it time that you had a representative who will represent you, and not just a collection of special interests? Now I’ve said all that to say this: If you’re a veteran, I’m your advocate. If you’re a teacher, worker, small business owner, or retiree, I’m your advocate. Thanks for listening and please vote for me, Gene Scharer, in the August 4th primary.