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HD 79

GOP Candidate Is Convicted Felon

In a situation that may reach Jarody-like levels of political entertainment, it turns out that Charles Jacques, the Republican candidate in House District 79, is a convicted burglar who likens himself to Nelson Mandela. The Kennebec Journal reports on his run against veteran Democratic legislator Sharon Treat.

Jacques, of West Gardiner, also spoke to reports that he spent two years in prison after being convicted on two counts of burglary and one count of criminal mischief, in 1986.

While he acknowledged serving jail time, Jacques said he was wrongfully convicted and never committed the crimes.

"When I meet people, I do not identify myself as a felon because I am not one," he said. "Much like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr., I have spent time in jail fighting injustice."

Jacques said he was framed for committing the burglaries -- breaking into the Portland apartments of two women and tampering with a telephone cord in one -- because he was trying to investigate the murder of his sister.

"People may think I want to get on the Legislature to take on the Department of Corrections, and that is simply not true," Jacques said.

"That's the past," Jacques said, of his arrest and conviction. "This election is the future."