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  Populist [Charlie] Chong taps anti-elitist sentiment
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  Mar 26, 2006 01:21am
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MediaNewspaper - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
News DateThursday, September 6, 2001 07:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionAs in past campaigns for city office, Chong's unyielding curiosity, lack of pretense and populist charisma endear him to a corps of down-to-earth supporters.

But those same traits also provide grist for opponents who regard him as one-dimensional and fractious, both prickly and quixotic. He's been called a maverick, naysayer and populist crank.

Now, just one month shy of 75 and suffering from prostate cancer, Chong is back for what even he calls a long-shot bid for mayor. And he's pulling a lot of support for a man pronounced politically dead after losing the mayor's race to Paul Schell in 1997 and being bumped from the City Council by Heidi Wills in 1999.

Charlie Chong, 74, a former one-term City Councilman; two-time mayoral candidate; neighborhood activist. He retired from the federal Office of Economic Opportunity, where he was regional supervisor of funding for anti-poverty programs. He also has worked as an executive for a vegetable canning company and Vista Volunteer service recruiter. He is a former U.S. Army sergeant and U.S. Air Force officer, as well as Korean War veteran. A longtime West Seattle resident, he is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in foreign service. He recently married. He and his wife, Mary, an office manager, have no children.
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