HOULTON, Maine - The Maliseet tribal representative to the Maine Legislature is running for U.S. Congress in Maine's large, rural, 2nd District. Henry John Bear has also left the Democratic party and become a member of the Green Independent Party.
"I have been influenced by the issues that the Green party represents," says Bear, "including civil rights, including protecting the environment, and job creation and revenue generation from sustainable economic development- which is what's badly needed in the second district."
The 61 year old Bear, who announced his candidacy in Houlton on Friday, describes himself as "truly a son of the second district." Bear was born in Lewiston, and attended college in Presque Isle and New Brunswick. As tribal representative, he has sponsored a number of bills in the Maine legislature, many of which are centered around improving the tribe's access to natural resources, as well as economic development proposals such as a casino bill, and one that would allow the Maliseet tribe to deal in elvers.
He's the only Green candidate at the moment for the June 2018 primary. The field also includes six Democrats, one Libertarian, and two unenrolled candidates, hoping to challenge incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin for his seat next fall.