A former federal employee who worked in the National Archives is now making a run for Congress.
Adam King, 31, of Alton, has launched his campaign to run for the Democratic nomination in 12th Congressional District, in hopes of facing U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro.
Among those who have already announced a run in the growing field are Dean Pruitt, of Milstadt, and David Bequette, of Columbia. Pat McMahan, of Mascoutah, and Nathan Colombo, of Carbondale, have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in order to run. Chris Miller, a Roxana native is raising money online for a congressional run.
John A. Sholar, Jr., of Alton who works in St. Louis as an attorney, also is exploring a run.
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King worked for the National Archives as an archive technician reconstructing veterans records that were destroyed in a 1973 fire in St. Louis until he decided to run for Congress. He now works as a bartender at an Alton restaurant.
He was intern for two years for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, who was in Congress from 1988 to 2013.
Earlier this month, King and his wife, Stephanie, were married. King has set up a staff of 10 people and has about 55 volunteers so far, he said.
His lack of name recognition and the growing field haven’t stopped him from running.
“We’re serious about it. We want to make a difference in the 12th and bring jobs back to the 12th — bring some economic prosperity back,” King said. “No you have not heard of me, and I’m probably not known well outside of Alton; however that hasn’t stopped us from making the decision to take the risk and go after it.”
Running for office will require a lot of money and be difficult in the primary with a large field, King said.
“We just want to be honest on our stances with individuals, and if individuals feel that our campaign is worth donating to, we’re more than welcome to accept that,” King said. “We are going to try to run a completely grassroots campaign, which is a bare-bones budget, and we will make the most out of every cent that we get.”
He said he wants to keep his middle-class lifestyle and would only take median income for the 12th District instead, which is about $41,000. The rest of the $174,000 salary would go back to the Treasury department or be donated to charity, he said.
“We feel by maintaining a middle-class lifestyle, we will understand middle-class issues and stay involved in middle class issues and be more relatable to our neighbors,” King said.
King’s father belonged to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, which is now known as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.
“We’ve always been raised in a union household and the importance of unions,” King said. “I believe the traditional Democratic Party has been for working class Americans, Americans who are less well off, and trying to raise that bar of living for everyone else.”
The primary is in March.