Representative Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana’s 9th District will have some competition in 2018 — from an owner/operator looking to shake up the political scene.
Bloomington-based truck driver Robert Chatlos will be running as an independent during the 2018 election. A truck driver since 2003 with over 1 million miles under his belt, Chatlos also spent two and a half years serving in the U.S. Air Force. With no formal political experience, Chatlos believes that his outsider status and lack of party affiliation will be the factors that set him apart from the newly-elected Hollingsworth, who has already faced harsh criticism for refusing to meet his constituents in town hall meetings.
In a statement to CDLLIFE, Chatlos explains why his experience as a trucker makes him uniquely qualified for to serve in office:
I just want my brothers and sisters in trucking to know that this is a real
bid to “take back” my Congressional District in Indiana. No nonsense here. I aim to win and I see it as a necessity to win for our future. Obviously, I have a skill set apart from being an owner/operator that will help me to run for office, succeed and do the job well. However, you can’t fake the hardworking grit it takes to be a flatbed truck driver. I cannot think of a better advocate for the working class than someone that comes from the working class……a trucker. Truckers get to see all of America, the good and the bad. People might be different looking and believe different things, but America is a place where we ALL can get along with the golden rule, and I just won’t stand for the rich and powerful to con us into thinking we are a divided country just so they can have the road all to themselves while we do the work of hauling the American Dream. Let’s go get ’em drivers!
Chatlos also describes his struggles to balance his political aspirations with his trucking career:
“I like driving truck. With well over 1 million career miles I’m not even close to being done, or so I thought. It hurts to give it up and I might even lose my trucks if I can’t balance campaigning with earning money. I need to generate roughly $12,000 a month in net pre tax revenue to pay the bills and keep moving forward. Citi Bank underwrites the truck loan that I have. Payments are $2,533.26 @ 11.9%. I had to put the other truck up as collateral and make a down payment of $8,000. I must have bad credit you might be thinking. Nope, it’s just that no one will loan you the money unless you already have it, or they can make a profit if you default. I estimate conservatively that Citi Bank would make $22,000 (not including interest paid) profit if I defaulted on this loan today. The criteria for lenders approval has gone from “can you make the payments?” to “will you make the payments?” They don’t even care if I pay my other obligations, just theirs. The steep payments probably have more to do with shareholder quarterly profits and creating conditions for me to fail. I accepted the terms because I knew I could beat them at their game. When I hear politicians tell me how much they care about small business, I just assume they are talking about their own enterprises………right Trey?”
In the video below, Chatlos explains why he feels that it is critical that he runs for office.
If you’re interested in learning more about Chatlos and his campaign, click here to visit the Chatlos For Congress 2018 Facebook page.