Sam Canders is a rare breed of politician running for office. Many individuals who seek office can fire off talking points without missing a beat, talking about how they’re true servants of the people and will act in full faith. Everybody has the soundbites down to a science in politics. When it comes to placing these words into action and creating positive productivity, however, many politicians fail the test. Canders, does not. When it comes to the principles of individual rights, freedom, and the Constitution, he is solid. When it comes to being a selfless man of the community, he passes the test.
While in college working towards a degree in Aeronautical Science, with a minor in meteorology, Canders joined the Army ROTC. After graduating, he was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant. After seven years of service, he joined the private sector as an airline pilot. The time outside of the military would be short-lived, as he joined the Air National Guard and would go on to serve four tours in Afghanistan. He has spent a total of two and a half years on deployment serving this great nation.
Canders is also a man of the people, an everyday Mainer, who has accomplished a lot for himself. He is a pilot for Kalitta Air, as well as a small business owner and farmer. His accomplishments in life are great in number, and provide a diversity of experience that will no doubt be useful as a legislator. In a session, the Legislature sees well over a thousand bills come through, with a wide range of topics. Many legislators lack the life experience that Canders has across the board, which enable a first hand understanding of the many issues.
Now as a candidate, life is taking him on a journey unlike any other. This time, it isn’t about his life, but rather for the people around him. With his neighbors, friends, and family in mind, he is embarking upon a new road that could lead him to Augusta next year. His campaign has been reflective of his likable personality and his principled integrity. According to Maine Campaign Finance reports, almost half of his campaign donations come from small donations under $50, with $670 of the total $2,159 coming from Canders himself. In addition to making the investment himself in the future, it would appear that everyday Mainers are also doing their part in this difficult economy to help a leader of the people get elected.
According to campaign manager Bryan Daughtery, a money bomb fundraiser was once organized for Canders’ campaign. It was a grassroots effort, without the knowledge of Canders or Daughtery. Once word got back to them however, Canders requested that the fundraiser organizers donate half of the money to charity. The request was fulfilled. It is clear that his character is solid, as a leader and hard-working Mainer who has always strived to make a life to be proud of. Yet, he is humble about what he’s done and sincerely attempts to give back to his community.
When in office, according to the official campaign website, Canders will have a three step approach when it comes to proposed legislation. The first step, will be to assess its constitutionality, in accordance to both the U.S. and Maine Constitutions. Being an honorable member of the military, he takes his oath very seriously and will stand by it as he takes the oath again when joining the Legislature. The second step is cost. From his community work and campaigning, Canders has seen firsthand that everyday Mainers are hurting as the economy continues to struggle. He does not wish to create any additional burden for them. The third step will be to assess the benefit. Putting the interests of Maine first, the final step will be to take all cost-efficient and constitutional pieces of legislation, and assess whether it would be beneficial to the people he represents. With a solid, simple process like this, it will not be difficult to understand the mindset Representative Canders would have in Augusta.
The citizens of Maine House District #15 have a rare opportunity to send a strong, proven leader to Augusta to represent them. His selfless nature has helped him maintain a strictly positive focus on his campaign, not resorting to dirty tactics of negative politicking. The appeal of his character has led many financially-struggling Mainers to dig into their pockets and help in any way the can. Canders is reluctant to ask for people’s money because he knows that they need it in order to feed their children, provide a roof over their head, and pay the bills for their families. But in knowing the increasing difficulty for Mainers to make these tasks accomplished, he is seeking the District #15 seat so he can help make Maine a better place for his constituents and all of Maine.