A Quincy high school history teacher has announced his candidacy for Congress.
Forty-two-year-old Rob Mellon will run for the Democratic ticket in hopes of challenging Republican incumbent Aaron Schock in next year’s election in the 18th District.
Mellon is from Quincy and served in the Army for a decade. He’s married with three children.
He explains that he was inspired to run while commanding a drill sergeant unit for the Army Reserve in Quincy. He believes Congressman Schock blew him off when he expressed concern to the congressman’s office regarding how the government shutdown would affect his unit.
“They said they’d contact me back. They never contacted me back. I was frustrated because of that,” he says. “Congress is at a nine percent or eight percent approval rating. I don’t think we should have a Congressman that goes unopposed irrespective of how the district is drawn in his favor.”
Changing the re-districting process is one of Mellon’s stated goals. He describes himself as a moderate, but in terms of where he stands on issues, Mellon says there’s no point in talking about them because of how ineffective the process is on Capitol Hill.
“For all of us that watch the Congress, we know that they haven’t accomplished anything of significance, and the reason is this money. It doesn’t benefit them to come to a resolution on anything. It benefits them for this perpetual campaign that they’re always in to keep us separated,” he says.
“To keep us thinking, ‘I’m a Republican’ or ‘I’m a Democrat’ or ‘I’m on this side of one issue’ and ‘I’m on the other’, and that way they can position themselves on one side or the other and collect the campaign contributions, which is really what it’s all about right now,” Mellon continues.
Mellon says his big difference with Schock is the way he’d handle campaign finances.
“Not taking corporate money, not spending half my time fundraising, not starting a leadership PAC so I can use it as a campaign slush fund. All of those things are part of the system today, which he is very accomplished at,” says Mellon.
“Aaron Schock has raised- it’s reported so far this year- over a million dollars, like $1.4 million, and he didn’t even think he’s going to have an opponent. He spends all of his time raising money.”
Mellon has never held office, but he says he’s helped others run for election and was briefly considered to replace Lane Evans in the 17th Congressional District.
You can listen to the full interview with him below.
Photo from Facebook.