They want more affordable energy, a balanced state budget and better job opportunities. Mainers of all stripes weigh in on the state’s most pressing issues and tell the governor what they’d like to hear him say during Tuesday’s State of the State address at 7 p.m.

 

Name: Dick McElhaney

Age: 59

Hometown: West Gardiner

Occupation: Contract superintendent for wastewater district

Political Affiliation: Unenrolled

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“I think affordable energy would probably be the most important issue to discuss. It’s a national problem, but there are probably certain things we could do here in the state to relieve some of the pressure on people. Home heating fuel bills, gasoline prices, are just eating up disposable incomes and basically destroying the economy here in the state of Maine and nationally.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“What he can to do address the cost of energy in the state of Maine. And I’m not talking about necessarily clean, green alternative energy because those are expensive — they have to be subsidized. I say let the free market work and let people decide which energy alternative they want to choose. We shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.”

Name: Waldo Gilpatrick

Age: 79

Hometown: West Gardiner

Occupation: Part-time code enforcement officer for West Gardiner/alternate code enforcement officer for Gardiner

Party Affiliation: Democrat

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“I revert to the constitution. It’s to promote the general welfare of society. Government does for all of us what we can’t do on our own individually. I think government is to serve the people.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I’m not sure. I guess I sort of differ with him because we hear people complaining about welfare, but it’s amazing how much corporate welfare there is. The business equipment tax lays out millions to corporations. Why should we give Walmarts a tax increment financing and tell them they don’t have to pay as much taxes as ordinary working people?”

Name: Bill Longfellow

Age: 44

Hometown: Farmingdale

Occupation: Works at a garden center

Party Affiliation: Republican

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“Keeping our budget under control and job creation.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I appreciate the fact that he’s working hard to cut where he has to cut. As a citizen, I want to support that. I want to hear that he is cutting areas to balance the budget.”

Name: Walter Longfellow

Age: 51

Hometown: Farmingdale

Occupation: Owns Fuller’s market

Party Affiliation: Republican

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“Containing our costs, minimizing our costs and making it so that businesses like mine, which employ most of the people of this state, can survive. Not only survive but thrive enough where we can give our employees raises and benefits, which we do here. Certainly we need to have the ability to do that more than we have been.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I would like to hear that he’s still moving forward like he has been attempting to ever since he came into office; still moving forward on making it a business-friendly state. Most people feel if you own a business you’re immediately rich, but that’s just not the case. I would love to see him continue to try to improve the business climate in the state and reduce and remove regulations that would hamper our ability to do business.”

Name: Cynthia Madsen

Age: 48

Hometown: West Gardiner

Occupation: store cashier

Party Affiliation: unenrolled

What’s the most important issued facing Maine?

“Health Care.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“A better way, a better health care system. We’re on MaineCare and it’s very hard to even get that. The other thing is the food stamp program. I know a lot of people who need it, but it also concerns me that a lot of people abuse it.”

Name: Ben Murello

Age: 66

Hometown: Belgrade Lakes

Occupation: Retired employee of Department of Health and Human Services

Political Affiliation: conservative

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“Reduction of debt and unemployment.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I’d like to see him say he will stay the course with all the promises he made during his campaign and work to reverse the welfare state of Maine.”

Name: Frank Rosen

Age: 58

Hometown: Hallowell

Occupation: information systems

Political Affiliation: Democrat

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“Cuts to health care.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I’d like to hear they are not going to cut so much health care and support for the elderly.”

 

Name: Julie Sexton

Age: 22

Hometown: Winthrop

Occupation: non-profit development worker

Political Affiliation: Democrat

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“Jobs.”

What would you like to hear the governor say on Tuesday?

“I’d like to hear where the jobs are.”

 

John Ponti, 26, Manchester

Occupation: graduate student at Thomas College

Political affiliation: unaffiliated

What’s the most important issue facing Maine?

“The job situation. It’s tough for young people, especially in Maine. It’s difficult to find a job to start a career and I have a four-year degree from Husson.”

What would you like the governor to say in his state of the state address Tuesday?

“I’d like to hear what he has to say about drug testing people on MaineCare. That has caught my attention.”
 

Amy Calder, Mechele Cooper, Craig Crosby, Doug Harlow, David Hench, Ben McCanna, Andy Molloy, Erin Rhoda and David Robinson contributed to this report.