Francis Vangeli has been retired for several years after a long career in the Navy and in private and commercial aviation. Vangeli calls himself a “normal, everyday guy” who disagrees with the way government is run.
Vangeli moved to Columbia in 1985. He spends most of his days in retirement sitting on his porch and keeping to himself.
PERSONAL: Age 73. Originally from Lansdale, Pa.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
ON THE WEB: francisvangeli.com
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in education, Villanova University. Master's degree in theology, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Conn.
BACKGROUND: Served in U.S. Navy from 1956-1971 as an officer. Worked as pilot and flight instructor. Previously worked as a dairy farmer.
Vangeli hopes for a day when more "real people" get a chance to serve in Congress.
“I got tired of these people (in Congress)," he said.
Although he's running as a Democrat, many of Vangeli's views differ from the mainstream party line. He opposes abortion, wants to lower taxes, is against food stamps and welfare disapproves of the federal stimulus package.
“The government is spending too much money and doing too much,” he said.
Vangeli also supports state's rights and opposes health care reform legislation passed earlier this year.