Ed Thelander

Candidate Location

Maine's 1st Congressional District
US Congress

Ed Thelander

Ed Thelander is a retired Navy SEAL, small businessman, volunteer firefighter, reserve deputy sheriff, loving father, and devoted husband. He has never sought political office before but is answering the call to serve his country once more.

A decorated combat veteran with 21 years of experience as a Navy SEAL, Ed participated in U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. An expert in special operations, he has helped lead many of the Navy’s specialized training programs.

Now Ed is ready to serve in Congress, and determined to take on the pressing challenges facing our beloved country. He’ll fight for us, like he always has, and he will always do what’s right.

Respected for his ability to bring feuding sides together, Ed has led highly sensitive negotiations and helped bring peaceful resolution to complex tribal disputes.  Ed’s strong leadership skills are sorely needed in Washington, D.C. today.

Ed served as Operations Chief for the U.S. Navy’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. He was instrumental in developing the “full spectrum of captivity” curriculum to train American servicemen and women to survive captivity at the hands of terrorists and foreign governments. Ed developed and wrote the Cold Weather Instructor Course, and rewrote and updated the Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Scout/Sniper course curriculum.

Ed and his family have woven themselves into the fabric of their community. After retiring from the Navy, Ed started his own small business doing light excavation, tractor work, and scuba diving for local shipyards. When he saw an opportunity to continue serving his community, he signed up as a volunteer firefighter. After his family moved to Bristol, Ed observed an active shooter drill in his children’s’ school and decided to put his skills to work by joining the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy sheriff.

Ed also volunteers on projects to help veterans, single mothers and others in the community. One of Ed’s causes, Swim with a Mission, has raised millions of dollars for veterans’ projects. Ed also volunteers for Stepping Stone Housing and at the veteran camps of Camp Kieve and Wavus. He loves to help with maintenance at the Water of Life Lutheran Church, which his family attends. You will often see Ed there grading the driveway.

A life-long public servant but never a politician, Ed has served our nation with honor on and off the field of battle.  Now, the country he loves, comes calling again.

Ed believes the country is headed in the wrong direction under career politicians who put their own self-interest ahead of our great nation. Ed will always put country first.

He knows that inflation and skyrocketing debt is the price we pay thanks to cowardly decision-makers in Washington who lack the courage to do the tough but necessary things. Ed has the intelligence, fortitude, and moral code to take on the most difficult political challenges.

Ed knows it is profoundly wrong and morally corrupt that the United States would ever leave a single American behind in a foreign war zone, or sell out our allies to our enemies. Ed has never and will never leave America or Americans behind.

Ed knows that national security begins with a secure border that welcomes legal immigrants who yearn to live the American Dream and enrich our nation with their experiences.

Now Ed is ready to serve in Congress, and determined to take on the pressing challenges facing our beloved country. He’ll fight for us, like he always has, and he will always do what’s right.

Ed lives with his wife of 26 years, Liliana, an immigrant from Venezuela who was naturalized as an American citizen in 1999. An accomplished artist, Liliana’s work has been displayed in studios around the region. Ed and Liliana have 3 children and live in Bristol.