SOMERSWORTH — The election of Democrat Doug Jones as U.S. senator from Alabama on Tuesday night was the start of what former Somersworth Mayor Lincoln Soldati hopes is a national repudiation of the politics of President Donald Trump, a wave that Soldati wants to ride to the U.S. House of Representatives next fall.
“We saw (Tuesday) night, in, of all places Alabama, that in fact, decency can prevail in this country,” Soldati said. “We share so many values as Democrats, and those are the values that we hold dear and I want to fight for.”
Soldati announced in October that he will seek the House seat being vacated by Rep. Carol Shea Porter, D-N.H. He spoke Wednesday night before a packed house at Teatotaller, the downtown Somersworth establishment owned and operated by his son, Emmett Soldati.
The former Strafford County prosecutor said he was dismayed by the election of Trump, and has spent the last year wondering if things could get any worse.
“Every morning I would wake up and make the mistake of turning on the news,” Soldati said. “And guess what? It got worse.
“I began to witness what I thought was the destruction of my country,” Soldati said. “All the values and everything that this country has stood for (since) the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I said, ‘this has to stop.’ (I) was not going to allow this to continue.”
Soldati said he wants to fight for “Democrat values” in Washington.
“I want to fight for social justice,” Soldati said. “The restoration of the middle class, (the) disenfranchised, for those who are in need. As Democrats, we believe women should make their own health care and reproductive decisions. Education should prepare one for the future, not suffocate someone in debt.”
In introducing his father, Emmett Soldati said the Teatotaller wouldn’t exist without Lincoln.
“He’s put his blood, sweat and tears into my passions and the things I cared about,” Emmett said. “Just as he’s done for so many people he’s met throughout his life.”
Campaign staffer Madeline DeSantis said Lincoln Soldati, as mayor-elect, went to restore order to a city council meeting he had been watching on live television — in his pajamas.
“He had been watching from home and was so mad that someone (could) be so rude to regular citizens,” DeSantis said. “He gave them a piece of his mind. That’s what I want in Congress — someone who’s not going to let powerful people talk down or hurt regular citizens.”
Sarah McGraw of Somersworth said she knew the Soldati family growing up, and said Lincoln Soldati is a “genuine and passionate” man.
“I’m interested to hear what he has to say,” McGraw said.
Another Soldati family friend, Emily Szarka of Dover, said she “practically lived in their house as a kid.”
“I’ll support them no matter what,” Szarka said.