A Biddeford independent, Elias Bassile, said Monday that he’s jumping into the 2nd District congressional race because he doesn’t like the way the Pine Tree State is shortchanged by the federal government.

“I don’t get why our politicians don’t take care of Maine,” said Bassile, who filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last week to run for the U.S. House.

Though Biddeford is in the 1st District, Bassile said he’s running in the 2nd District because U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, the three-term Lewiston Democrat, “does so little” that he doesn’t hear anything about him.

Golden’s office, though, cites many examples of his activities on everything from rural development to the Ukraine war.

The Constitution requires members of Congress to live in the state they represent but there is no mandate that they also live within the district where they seek election.

Golden already faces opposition from three Republican challengers — state Rep. Mike Soboleski of Phillips, state Rep. Austin Theriault of Fort Kent and Robert Cross of Dedham — and independent Kevin Ball of Bangor.


Bassile works for a family business in Saco, Maine Ammo, which presents itself as a solidly right-wing operation.

For example, on social media last week, Maine Ammo hailed the death of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat whom it called “a treason bitch communist anti-gun American piece of trash.”

Also last week, the company said the United States has the most corrupt government in the world before asking “Why bother to vote?”

But Bassile said it’s just marketing. He said each of his family’s businesses — it has other firms in land development and cloud computing — tries to appeal to its natural customer base.

“Every company has its characteristics,” he said. “You’ve got to imagine the types of buyers” for a company that specializes in selling ammunition.

Bassile said he’s the sort of guy who doesn’t like anger and division.


“I’m not a Trump-nut politician,” Bassile said. “I’m a no-nonsense guy. I’m a black-and-white guy.”

He said he isn’t interested in stirring the pot. He simply wants to get more money for Maine.

Bassile said if he’s elected in 2024, the first thing he’ll do is go to the House speaker and try to get a big check for Maine to help house the homeless before the worst of winter weather, feed hungry children and provide cash to cover energy bills for Mainers.

He said he wouldn’t caucus with either the Democrats or the Republicans. He added that if they try to give him an office beside the boiler in the basement, he’ll set up a desk at the entrance to the House floor.

Bassile said he won’t be ignored because both sides are going to want his vote as a rare independent in a closely-divided Congress. He said he won’t “fall in that big void” on Capitol Hill that swallows up nearly everyone in politics.

He said he would just “hound the speaker” constantly to get dollars for Maine, something he insists the state’s two senators and two members of the House have failed to do.


“They just don’t get it done,” Bassile said.

Bassile, a Michigan native who has lived in the state for three decades, is married with two grown sons. He said he dropped out of college in his first year after a professor told him he’d make more money heading straight into business, a move he said worked out well for him.

Though he said beating any incumbent is “very hard,” he doesn’t want political donations from anyone.

“I’m going to spend my own money and don’t bother me,” Bassile said.

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