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Enter your address on the Maine Secretery of State’s web site to find your polling place and who is running for office in your district.

Southern Maine House and Senate races

Senate Candidates

David W. Bustin, D   —   District 21
Leslie T. Fossel, R   —   District 20
Dana Hernandez, D   —   District 25
Priscilla Jenkins, D   —   District 21
Colleen Lachowicz, D   —   District 25
Stuart Smith, R   —   District 20

House Candidates

Philip Barter, D   —   District 59
Kevin Cookson, D   —   District 82
Harvey DeVane, D   —   District 59
Robert Engelhardt, R   —   District 29
Edward Finch, D   —   District 84
Richard Fournier, D   —   District 58
Lori Fowle, D   —   District 58
Gay Grant, D   —   District 59
William Guerrette, R   —   District 79
Michael Hein, R   —   District 57
Craig Hickman, D   —   District 82
Karen Kusiak, D   —   District 84
John Ring, R   —   District 29
Henry Simmons, R   —   District 50
Ryan D. Wheaton, R   —   District 79
Ellen Winchenbach, R   —   District 50
Andrew Worcester, R   —   District 57

Below is a list of candidates and races for the upcoming primary election in June.

Maine State Legislature

As noted below, some candidates have not responded to our questionnaire. We will add their responses as they become available

Senate Races

Senate District 20
Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Edgecomb, Hibberts, Jefferson, Monhegan, Newcastle, Nobleboro, Somerville, South Bristol, Southport, Waldoboro, Westport, Whitefield and Wiscasset – Map


Name: Leslie T. Fossel
Date of birth : October 16, 1946
Family : Married, 4 children, 5 grandchildren
Residence: Alna
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Restoration Resources
Political experience: Maine House (124th & 125th). I Chair the Moderate Caucus, and have served on Insurance and Financial Services, Healthcare Reform, Government Oversight, Congressional Reapportionment, Health and Human Services, Judiciary committees

Other political experience: Lincoln County Budget Committee (five years), selectman (six years), school board (four years), assistant fire chief (four years), Commission for Maine’s Future (two years), Planning Board (two years), Regional Planning Agency chairman (three years).
Publicly financed candidate? No

 

1. Why are you running for office?
I solve problems — and Maine has a host of problems that need solving. I work hard to find common ground, consensus, between opposing groups. My particular focus is healthcare issues — cost, quality and access.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Maine has inadequate resources to resolve its current problems. We must use resources more effectively to reduce the footprint of our government and grow our economy.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
SD 20 has the oldest population in the oldest state. I serve on our Aging Demographic Economic Development Task Force. We need to address the unique needs of our population and leverage our high quality of life to attract employers that complement our talent pool.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
More focus on infrastructure, particularly telecommunications and roads. We need to do a better job marketing Maine’s strengths, including our communities, workers, and quality of life. We need a government that trusts Mainers to do the right thing, then gives us the freedom to do it.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I want to lower our healthcare costs. Maine has the highest health care costs in America (25 percent of our economy) and the fastest growing (7.8 percent a year). America has the highest health care costs in the world.
 


Name: Stuart Smith
Date of birth
: March 30, 1963
Family : Son, 13, lives with me.
Residence: Edgecomb
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Self-employed software developer and business consultant
Political experience: Three-term selectman, two-term planning board, vice-chairman Lincoln County Planning Commission, State Board of Corrections
Publicly financed candidate? No

 

1. Why are you running for office?
To help the citizens of my district. I started on the planning board, then moved to the Selectboard because I wanted make a difference. Now, I want to protect my parents’ retirement while preserving something for my son’s future. The state needs to watch out for both generations.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Taxes and business development/support. Most of the state is made up of small businesses, whether it is the fishermen, the farmers, or the service people. Taxes and regulations can have a negative impact on any small business or individual.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Taxes (property tax as the most talked about). I am looking at the possibility of an increased circuit breaker and/or a local homestead exemption. We need to preserve small-business people’s property so they can continue to work and contribute to our local economy.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
We do need to decrease energy costs and lower the burden on our small businesses. We need to make this state more attractive to our youth so they will stay here and benefit our economy and our communities.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
Consolidation of CDS and DHHS. This would lower the cost of education and lower the tax burden. I would, also, like to institute legislation that would lower our utility costs.

Senate District 21
Chelsea, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, Pittston, Randolph, West Gardiner and Winthrop – Map

Name: David Bustin
Date of birth : August 18, 1938
Family : Single, three children, four grandchildren
Residence: Hallowell
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Retired, now a part-time mediator
Education: Colby College B.A., graduate work UMO
Political experience: Four terms, Maine House of Representatives; mayor of Hallowell, three terms. state commissioner of labor, two years, state commissioner of personnel, six years.
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website www.davebustinforsenate.com; Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
1. Our state government is heading in the wrong direction. In the next two years the state senate may be all that stands between Gov. LePage’s bad ideas and the interests of our people. I will fight for the needs of our district.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The loss of “real” income. Wages and pensions are stagnant but the cost of essentials (gasoline, heating oil, food, health care) keeps going up. We worry, we spend less and that’s why business is slow right now.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
1. We need to improve the roads that are deteriorating and fix our bridges. I would support bond issues to finance steady forward progress both in our area and statewide. I would also promote the expansion of our trail network along the Kennebec River.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
No. We need a better job of attracting new business and creating jobs. Having a negative national image doesn’t help. We should be putting people to work improving our infrastructure during this economic downturn.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I want to stand up and fight for the workers and the elderly in our district. I will oppose anti-worker proposals and attacks on the state retirement system. I will also fight attempts to weaken our environmental laws and ideas that will be harmful to the education of our children.
 


Name: Priscilla Jenkins
Date of birth : December 20, 1043
Family : Partner John W. Davis, 3 adult children, 6 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren
Residence: Winthrop
Political party: Democrat
Employment: Retired from career in computer development as business analyst and development manager for Fortune 500 companies (including Citibank, AT&T, Standard and Poor’s) and now substitute teaching
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Vassar College
Political experience: In second term as town councilor, ran twice for state representative
Publicly financed candidate? No

 

1. Why are you running for office?
For the 99 percent, to help bring the people back into government. We need a voice for progress in Augusta. I will bring fresh ideas. Reaching real compromise is essential; I regularly talk with people with diverse perspectives and believe we can work out solutions.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Jobs are the key to a better future. Given enough jobs, those needing safety nets (including healthcare) will decrease, tax revenues will increase, the middle class will stop shrinking. Jobs and opportunity are what this country was built on and it’s still true today.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Jobs, energy costs, reduced pensions, health care costs and slashed safety nets are issues for young adults and the elderly. Property owners need tax relief to keep their homes. Young people need jobs that pay a living wage to become independent and support their families.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
No. The administration has done nothing to rebuild our economy. It has cut jobs at the state level without considering consequences, trimmed supports to our most vulnerable and won’t fund things properly the role of government (teachers, first responders) that bolster private sector and provide jobs.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
Government investments in roads and bridges, education and first responders will provide jobs in both public and private sectors. The will stimulate our economy, enhance our attractiveness to business and tourists, contribute to having our children achieve all they can and increase our well-being and safety.

Senate District 25
Albion, Benton, Clinton, Unity, Waterville, Winslow, Detroit and Pittsfield – Map

Name: Dana Hernandez
Date of birth : October 26, 1974
Family : Husband, Robert P. Hernandez (Sr. Graphic Designer at Colby College) and two daughters, India (5 years) and Riviera (3 years)
Residence: Waterville
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Editor for SPARK Movement, an international organization that protests the sexualization of children and women. I coordinate a team of young women in Maine and across the country/Canada who use activism to battle the negative images of girls in the media.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications with a focus in journalism and grad school in secondary education with a focus in secondary education
Political experience: Waterville Planning Board; 2008 Democratic delegate to the Maine State convention; spearheaded the “Love ME” rallies in 2011 and 2012 at the State House to support the removal of toxins from our children’s supplies and foods and strengthen the Kid-Safe Products Act with the Environmental Health Strategy Center; 2012 graduate of Emerge Maine, a political training program for Democratic women
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website www.DanaforME.com; Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I want to advocate for building a strong economy by ensuring all children have access to high-quality care and education. In the Making Maine Work report, the Chamber of Commerce agrees that investing in early childhood equals real economic development.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
We need jobs and economic development to strengthen our towns and put money into the pockets of working Mainers. I haven’t seen a focus on job creation in the last two years.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
We need access to well-paying jobs. Promoting economic development that increases revenue, decreases energy costs, and protects our quality of life inspires me. I’ll push for legislation that leads us to alternative energy jobs and supports the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Not even close. Our state has given the appearance of a tax break, while not taxing the wealthiest of Mainers and pushing the burden onto local property tax payers.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I want to ensure the jobs are available so Maine families can prosper.
 


Name: Colleen Madigan Lachowicz
Date of birth : January 22, 1964
Family : Husband, Ed; stepson, Rowan
Residence: Waterville
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Program director, School-Based Mental Health Services, Kennebec Behavioral Health
Education: B.A. sociology, William Paterson University, 1987; masters in social work, Boston College, 1999
Political experience: Former chairwoman, Waterville Democrats, former vice-chairwoman, Kennebec County Democrats
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website www.colleenlachowicz.com; Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I’m running for office because I believe we need to replace our senator, who has abdicated his responsibility to his district through a refusal to stand up for people while they beg for help to survive in this economy.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
We have a lack of good-paying jobs with benefits. Our young people can’t build their lives without them. Families are suffering because parents are unemployed or underemployed. Seniors need to work longer to provide for retirement.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Most people voice concerns about the economy and its impact on their communities. I would like to help local businesses by pushing for regulations that favor working people and not large corporations. It shouldn’t be difficult to buy local.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
No. What efforts? The current legislature has enacted an agenda that benefits the wealthy and powerful and forgets about us. Whether Republican or Democrat, the only interest represented in Augusta should be the people.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I want to get our health care system and DHHS in working order. I’m tired of hearing politicians in Augusta say “We can’t”. If we can’t come together to care for our children, families, and seniors, we’ve already lost.

House Races

House District 29
Clinton, Detroit and Pittsfield – Map

Name: Robert (Bob) Engelhardt, Sr.
Date of birth: February 24, 1942
Family: Wife, Simone, three adult children, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren
Residence: Pittsfield
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Retired, after 29 years with Bangor & Aroostook Railroad in Bangor. I worked both in management and in the union, Brotherhood of Railroad Workers. First job was with Maine Central Railroad in their data processing office on St. John Street in Portland.
Education: Deering High School (Portland ) graduate, attended the Plus School of Business, studied Computer Science (Data Processing/Programming)
Political experience: Civic groups and in town government, most recently Plymouth Planning Board
Publicly financed candidate? Yes

1. Why are you running for office?
Because I love the state of Maine and want to give back to the people. I plan to listen to the people and represent my district. “Of the people”

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
There are many “big” issues. They are all equally “big” to the people involved. We can’t resolve many of the issues until we act responsibly and manage our budget and make this a state of choice for business to operate.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
I’m still listening and speaking with the people in my district and I don’t have all the answers, but employment and unemployment are strong concerns.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
I believe they are. We must undertake the difficult task of reining our state spending so that our businesses and citizens can afford to stay, return and move to Maine.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I hope people will be comfortable speaking to me so I can truly represent my district. That would be my goal. Seeing new employment opportunities open up will be a sign that I have helped my district.
 


Name: John Ring

Biographical information and answers to questions not submitted

House District 50
Bremen, part of Jefferson, Nobleboro and Waldoboro – Map
Name: Henry Simmons

Biographical information and answers to questions not submitted


Name: Ellen Winchenbach
Date of birth: May 12, 1957
Family: Married 35 years to Craig Winchenbach. 2 sons -Darren and Evan. 3 grandsons
Residence: Waldoboro
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Licensed cosmetologist for 36 years; self-employed owner of Hair Country, 25 years
Education: 1975 graduate of Medomak Valley High School-Waldoboro; 1976 graduate of Central Beauty School-Augusta
Political experience: Ballot Clerk-Waldoboro; Three-year term Waldoboro Board of Selectmen 2004-2007; Waldoboro Budget Committee three-year term-current; Lincoln County Budget Committee; Lincoln County Republican state committeewoman; Past chairman and secretary of the Waldoboro Republican Town Committee; Worked on Sen. David Trahan and Rep. Dana Dow’s election campaigns. Circulated petitions to repeal the sales tax on services bill. LD 1495
Publicly financed candidate? No

1. Why are you running for office?
I have always wanted to run for state representative. I would consider it an honor to represent all of the people in House District 50 in whatever capacity is needed.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The economy and jobs are big issues facing Maine, along with energy costs. People are digging deep into their pockets to make ends meet, including me.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
How do we spur economic growth so that we can have good paying jobs and provide services locally? I would look at ways to create new businesses and expand on existing businesses with the resources that are available to us.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Our state government is trying to be fiscally conservative and is also making changes to the laws that will make Maine more business friendly, but it’s going to be a while before we see drastic changes in the economy.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I would like to see education funded in ways besides local property taxes. A large portion of our property tax goes to the school district and I would like to find a way to offset that so people are not taxed out of their homes.

House District 57
Part of Augusta – Map

Name: Michael G. (Mike) Hein
Date of birth: March 31, 1970
Family: Michelle Hein of Augusta (wife), Natalie McGuire (mother) of Augusta, and two cats, Jesse and Peanut.
Residence: Augusta
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Manpower, Inc. (administrative staffer), currently assigned to Dirigo Health Agency in downtown Augusta
Education: Cony High School (Augusta) 1988; Marquette University (Milwaukee); Army National Guard Officer Candidate School (Camp Williams, Wis.) 1992; Army Chemical Officer Basic Course (Fort McClellan, Ala.) 1993
Political experience: None
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website Vote Mike Hein Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I care about service to my northwest Augusta community. My “Say Yes to a Better Augusta!” campaign means having real representation from someone that truly reflects our community.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Jobs for those who are unemployed and underemployed, and health care benefits for those who are employed, but do not have affordable healthcare access.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The fragile local economy continues to be a real problem. Supporting local small businesses, the new MaineGeneral Health, and the city and state workers will be priorities.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Generally, yes. Despite several somewhat short-sighted efforts by this administration, I believe Maine’s economy has shown signs of improvement (specifically regarding sales tax receipts) this year.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
Assuring northwest Augusta residents that our state representative is truly reflective of us. We need another attorney in the Legislature like we need another hole in our heads!
 


Name: Andrew Worcester

Biographical information and answers to questions not submitted

House District 58
Part of Augusta, Vassalboro and Windsor – Map
Name: Richard Paul Fournier
Date of birth : November 12, 1954
Family : Married. Wife Leanne, 3 children and 3 grandchildren
Residence: Windsor
Political party: Democrat
Employment: Retired
Education: Graduated in 1973 Cony High School, BS Business with accounting, University of Maine.
Political experience: Three years on the Windsor School Board; Six years on the Windsor Budget Committee
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website: Richard Fournier House 58 Facebook page

 

1. Why are you running for office?
Too many citizens are uninsured, which ends up pushing premiums higher. A single payer system will lower health insurance costs, with profits going toward lowering premiums. I want to protect laid-off workers against foreclosures until they find jobs. Want to protect laws allowing employees the right to unionize.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The Economy

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The state giving less money to schools, which means cuts to education or property tax increases. We need to work with manufacturing and businesses to create jobs, stimulating the economy and increasing tax revenue. State cuts force communities to cut services or increase property taxes.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Layoffs hurt the state’s economy. We have to figure out a way to get clean manufacturing jobs back that offer decent wages, insurance and benefits. Manufacturing workers make more money, which they spend at businesses, stimulating the economy and giving the state more tax revenues.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
Single payer health insurance at low cost, so all Maine citizens can afford a health insurance policy.
 


Name: Lori Fowle
Date of birth: June 26, 1962
Family: Husband Evert Fowle, sons Evert III and Hayden, daughter Morgan
Residence: Vassalboro
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Homemaker
Education: School of cosmetology, Grande Falls, New Brunswick
Political experience: Nine years Vassalboro School Board, three years Budget Committee
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website: Lori Fowle for State Representative Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I decided last fall I was going to run to give a strong independent voice in Augusta for my district. Since then watching the attack on the middle class has given me another reason to run.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
I wish it was a single issue, but I would have to say that the biggest issue that is facing the state is the economy. We need to work on getting jobs in Maine.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The tax shift from the state to the local government.The state continues to fail at funding the schools, causing the local taxes to increase. I think we need to work on funding our schools.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Not much has been done to improve the economy in the last year. Laws that have gone after teachers, worker and adults with disabilities hurt the economy. I also would like to see bond issues return; bonds equal jobs.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
Foster a strong business climate to help our children stay in Maine.Maine schools should be second to none. We need to protect our environment to keep Maine an attractive place to live. Education and a healthy environment go hand and hand in attracting businesses.

House District 59
Gardiner and Randolph – Map
Name: Philip Barter
Date of birth : September 25, 1947
Family : Married to Margaret for 39 years, three adult daughters and two granddaughters.
Residence: Gardiner
Political party: Democrat
Employment: Retired, part time real estate broker at McAllister Real Estate and part time employee at L.L. Bean
Education: B.S. Education University of Maine Farmington, B.S. Business Administration University of Maine Augusta
Political experience: Numerous city committees and civic organizations
Publicly financed candidate? Yes

 

1. Why are you running for office?
I am running for office because I am interested in improving the economic outlook for the 99 percenters of our state.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Biggest single issue facing the state: Energy costs are draining disposable income from working families and stifling economic growth.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Biggest issue for voters in my district: The lack of effective government is the biggest issue with voters. We have a governor who wants to dictate rather than govern and a Republican legislature that would rather be governed than legislate.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Are efforts to improve the economy going in the right direction? No, too much effort is being spent relaxing regulations and environmental standards to promote business and not enough effort spent to benefit working families.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
One thing I want to accomplish if elected: If elected, I want to promote greater use of alternative energy sources and expanded energy conservation measures so that Maine residents have more disposable income available for a better standard of living.


Name: Harvey E. DeVane
Date of birth: April 30, 1935
Family: Wife, two daughters and four grandchildren
Residence: Gardiner
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Retired
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Maine, Orono
Political experience: Extensive — all within the Democratic Party
Publicly financed candidate? Yes

1. Why are you running for office?
To win and to occupy this district’s seat.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Our dormant economy and the scarcity of jobs

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The biggest issue here is the same as it is everywhere; and, no I don’t have a curative initiative to promote.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Whose efforts, federal, state or private, are you inquiring about? Regardless, it is too early to tell.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
To serve honorably and well
 


Name: Gay Grant
Date of birth: 52 years old
Family: Married for 32 years to Ronald E. Grant, two grown children: Aaron Grant and Melody Grant Santos
Residence: South Gardiner
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Owner, founder, and principal writer for The Write Way, a writing consulting business
Education: BA in history from the University of Southern Maine, 1981; Gardiner Area High School Class of 1978
Political experience: Served on the District 11 School Board from 1986-91
Publicly financed candidate? Yes

1. Why are you running for office?
To give voters a progressive choice — fresh ideas and energy to move our community and state forward. I may not have all the answers, but I do know how to ask the right questions, and how to work cooperatively with others.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The economy. People need jobs that pay a livable wage and to do so they must have access to education and training, both our young people and older workers who need new skills to adapt to a changing job market.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
People in my district are worried about jobs, healthcare, and education. As a small business owner, I’ve worked hard to find opportunities in this challenging economy. That’s the kind of creative thinking and work ethic my community tells me we need in Augusta.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
We need bold, positive leadership for Maine to grow in the right direction. Though we must live within our means, we also need to invest in developing a modern infrastructure that will deliver the goods and services of a modern economy.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I want to expand access to education and training so people can have decent paying jobs with affordable health insurance, and help foster a climate where others like me can create businesses that will grow Maine’s economy.

House District 79
Farmingdale, Hallowell and West Gardiner – Map

Name: William Guerrette
Date of birth : September 9, 1984
Family : Wife — Vanessa; Son — Willie IV
Residence: West Gardiner
Political party: Republican
Employment: General manager — Sun Tan City
Education: Business Management — Brigham Young University
Political experience: Not submitted
Publicly financed candidate? No
Campaign website: William Guerrette for HD79 Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I chose to run for office because Maine needs common sense, results-driven leadership. For too long, many of our children have had to look in other parts of the country for good jobs, and this is unacceptable to me.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The biggest issue facing Maine today is high government spending that, in many cases, is well above national averages. Wasteful spending and bloated programs have placed a large burden on Maine taxpayers. This must stop if Maine is to be competitive nationally and attract jobs.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
My district is full of hard-working private and public sector workers, many of whom have not had a raise in years. I want to create a better job climate so citizens of my district can keep up with the rising costs of living.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
For the most part, efforts to reform Maine’s economy, as well as efforts to lower Maine’s rising energy costs, are going in the right direction. However, we must address entitlement spending, and until we do, Maine’s budget will struggle to balance.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I would love to help the state attract more and better employers. Maine’s people are some of the hardest working in America, and if we can ease the tax burden on businesses, they WILL come.


Name: Ryan D. Wheaton
Date of birth : April 15, 1978
Family : Wife of 4 years Marie Wheaton, and our 2-year-old son Amanual, adopted from Ethiopia
Residence: West Gardiner
Political party: Republican
Employment: Teacher of business at Capital Area Technical Center (Cony High School) and owner of Maine-ly Inks an E-commence company
Education: Master’s of business, Husson College, graduated in 2005; Master’s of education, Thomas College, currently attending; University of Maine at Presque Isle, graduated in 2003; Associate degree in business, University of Maine at Presque Isle, graduated in 2002
Political experience: 2012 Republican state delegate, member of the Kennebec County Republicans, former University of Maine at Presque Isle student senator and school senate member
Publicly financed candidate? No

1. Why are you running for office?
Many of the current representatives in Augusta have lost touch of what it means to be accountable to the people they serve.  I feel it is my duty to serve my district in a way that shows the utmost loyalty and integrity.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The economy continues to be the predominant major issue that our state has yet to solve.  We need to continue electing Mainers who will make the economy their first and foremost priority.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
I have spoken to hundreds of people in my district, and what everyone merely wants is a representative who is willing to be accountable.  If elected, I will put the people of my district first and be a productive representative to all of their concerns.  

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
We are slowly moving in a positive direction, but more work is definitely  required. We need to continue to find ways of being more efficient at lowering taxes while paving the way for a debt-free future for our children.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
I will work tirelessly at developing ways to make Maine a more attractive place (geographically, politically, economically) to live for our children, sick, disabled, working class, retirees and new/existing businesses.

House District 82
Readfield and Winthrop – Map
Name: Kevin Cookson
Date of birth : November 25, 1952
Family : Wife Cathy, daughter Amy
Residence: Winthrop
Political party: Democrat
Employment: Professional Investigator
Education: Graduate Maine Criminal Justice Academy, Babson College Command Management. CJ and Political Science studied at UMA
Political experience: 12 years Winthrop Town Council, eight as chairman. Nine years Kennebec County Budget Committee, past eight as chairman
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website HD82 Cookson Facebook page

 

1. Why are you running for office?
I got into law enforcement to help people. That continued after retiring and running for the Town Council in 2000. I now want to continue to help people at the state level.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Jobs.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Property tax relief by making the Legislature live up to laws it has passed. Fund K-12 education at 55 percent and pay fair share of revenue sharing. Before you create new laws and fund NEW programs, pay for the ones you promised.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Efforts are going in the wrong direction for the middle class. Everything to date has been aimed at the 1 percent, including the current bill to fund an income tax deduction that benefits the most wealthy.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
To serve the citizens of Readfield and Winthrop with fairness, dignity and respect.


Name: Craig Hickman
Date of birth: December 8, 1967
Family: Jop Blom, MaineGeneral physical therapist
Residence: Winthrop
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Organic farmer, owner, Annabessacook Farm B&B and Organic Farm Stand
Education: A.B. cum laude in government, Harvard University, 1990
Political experience: 2010 Democratic nominee, representative to the Legislature; 2008 Democratic National Convention delegate; vice chairman, Winthrop Democrats, 2010-Present
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website hickmaninthehouse.blogspot.com

1. Why are you running for office?
I want to take the work I’m doing in the community to the next level and serve the people in the Legislature. In order to create lasting change in our communities, we need policy in Augusta that enhances the work we do on the ground.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The lack of living-wage jobs with sustainable benefits. Our children can’t build their lives without them. Hard-working families struggle to put food on the table and have to rob Peter to pay Paul.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The stagnant economy and its impact on our communities. We need policy that benefits small farms, small businesses and Maine’s hardest-working families, not giant corporations.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
What efforts? I see the veto pen eliminate safety nets for the impoverished and vulnerable, budgets that threaten to leave retirees destitute, and tax policy that benefits the wealthiest while everybody else pleads, “What about me? What about what I need?”

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
In this political climate, I’d be satisfied to be a strong voice for those who cry in the dark. There’s no reason whatsoever we can’t feed every Maine resident with nutritious food raised and processed right here. Food is life. We must feed the people.

House District 84
Fairfield, Rome and Smithfield – Map

Name: Edward Finch
Date of birth: March 28, 1943
Family: Son, Matt
Residence: Fairfield
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: retired teacher – history and government
Education: Ellsworth High School; University of Maine at Machias B.S.; University of Maine, Orono M.Ed, C.A.S., A.B.D.
Political experience: Four terms Maine Legislature; Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee; 12 years MSAD49 School Director: Past chairman and vice-chairman; Current Chairman of Fairfield Town Council
Publicly financed candidate? Yes

1. Why are you running for office?
With my experience as a Legislator, school board member, and town council chairman I understand the issues and can speak for the our communities. I know the district and its people. Plus, I like the job.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
The economy. Too many regulations, remote location and aging work force. We can’t change our location but we can reduce regulations and provide more training for workers entering the work force or dealing with a changing world economy.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
Again, the economy. I would promote transportation, cheaper energy and job training-the Community Colleges in particular. They do an excellent job preparing students for existing jobs, but they could be doing much more.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Partially. Clearer goals that take into account Maine’s advantages and disadvantages. Coordinated state efforts without partisan bickering. Name calling and placing blame is not productive. A good idea is a good idea no matter which party it comes from.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
To do my job in such a way that if I choose not to run again in two years the people of my district will be sorry to see me go.
 


Name: Karen Kusiak
Date of birth: January 28, 1953
Family: Katherine Kusiak Carey, 23; Julia Kusiak Carey, 20
Residence: Fairfield (Shawmut)
Political party: Democrat
Occupation: Educator, Colby College
Education: Nashua Senior High School, Nashua, NH; Colby College, B.A. 1975; Lesley College Graduate School (now Lesley University), M.Ed. 1983; University of Maine, Ed.D. 2011
Political experience: Maine School Administrative District 49 Board of School Directors 1997-2012
Publicly financed candidate? Yes
Website Karen Kusiak for Maine House of Representatives Facebook page

1. Why are you running for office?
I would support Maine students and educators, and focus on the needs of school districts in economically struggling areas. Other reasons for running are to promote small businesses, non-profit organizations, local farmers, crafts people, and participants in the creative economy.

2. What’s the biggest single issue facing the state?
Regressive social, environmental, political, and financial policies proposed and enacted since 2011. I will work to restore policies that promote the well being of the people and our environment. I will maintain policies that support active democracy and financial policies that provide needed services.

3. What’s the biggest issue for voters in your district and do you have a district-specific initiative you will promote?
The poor quality of roads and the need for equitable distribution of state funding for education. I support bond initiatives to repair roads and bridges, and will advocate for 55 percent funding of EPS school funding model, or propose examining the school funding formula.

4. Are efforts to improve the state’s economy going in the right direction?
Governor LePage’s proposals are not moving the state’s economy in the right direction. The state’s minimum wage should be raised and indexed with the rate of inflation. Raising the minimal wage will encourage economic growth, just as it has in other states.

5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish if elected?
In addition to the accomplishing the proposals I’ve outlined above regarding education funding, road maintenance, and living wages, I want voters in District 84 to know they have a voice in Augusta that is looking out for their interests.


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