Reps. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta, Donna Doore, D-Augusta, and Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell, probably have more time on their hands this October and November than many of their colleagues seeking re-election to the state House of Representatives.

While all are seeking to return to office, none of them faces an official challenge on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Republican Pouliot initially had a Democratic challenger for the House District 86 seat, Erick R. Glockler, of Augusta, but Glockler withdrew from the race and no other candidates stepped in to run in his place. Pouliot, whose district is made up of part of Augusta, said he’s not sure why he is uncontested, though he said he’d like to think it’s because his constituents feel he is representing them well. He said other races across the state also have gone uncontested, in addition to the three central Maine area seats, for various reasons.

“Being a member of the Legislature isn’t glamorous, and it certainly isn’t something someone can do and support a family on legislative pay alone,” he said. “We have a citizen Legislature in Maine and I know a number of people who would like to serve but are unable to due to family or work constraints. This may be the reason why there are several races across the state that are uncontested — not because people don’t want to, but because they can’t.”

Legislative salaries are typically about $14,000 in the first year of every biennium and $9,980 in the second year.

Warren, too, said she hopes the lack of opposing candidates indicates some satisfaction, among constituents, with the incumbent office holders.

“I hope it is because people know I work hard and always do my very best,” said Warren, the incumbent in House District 84, which includes Hallowell, Manchester and West Gardiner. “Representatives Doore and Pouliot are well-liked and well-respected members of their districts. They both work hard to represent their constituents in the Legislature. I hope these reasons explain why the three of us are not contested.”

Doore, the incumbent in District 85, which is made up of part of Augusta, also speculated that the lack of opposition might indicate a level of satisfaction with the incumbent legislators among local constituents.

“I cannot speak for the other two seats,” she said. “I do my best to get back to any constituents. It has always been about the people of Augusta.”

The lack of contested races doesn’t mean there aren’t important issues, for the state and their local districts, to be addressed by legislators, they said.

Doore, 64, who is retired, said issues she sees as important include addressing the opiate crisis, improving health insurance access and providing housing for the state’s aging population.

She said she plans to work with other legislators to find options to expand Medicaid to increase the availability of health care and create treatment options for those addicted to opiates.

Pouliot, 29, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Riverside, also said the drug addiction crisis is an important issue facing the state, with children being born addicted to drugs and many Mainers dying of overdoses.

Other issues he cited as important for the state included providing a high-quality education as a way to help children living in poverty, reducing energy costs that are so high they are forcing many businesses to close, and doing a better job supporting entrepreneurs so they start and grow successful businesses. Important issues for the district, he said, include encouraging the state to lease, instead of own, office space in Augusta, which he said would provide property taxes to the city and allow the state to project costs better. He also mentioned supporting people with mental illness so they can be integrated into the community better and get the support they need to live rewarding lives, and providing incentives to encourage the creation of more affordable housing as important issues.

He plans to propose legislation to create a pilot program, called Pay for Success, that would seek to increase public-private partnerships to provide financial support for education.

Warren, 46, owner of C Warren Consulting Services and an adjunct professor in the University of New England’s graduate school of social work, also tagged addressing the opiate epidemic as a key issue for the state and in her district. She said rising property taxes are another important issue legislators must tackle.

She said she hasn’t yet decided what legislation she will propose.

Warren said she’s running because “I have always been called to try and make a difference for people, communities and the state I love.”

Pouliot said he’s running because “I love Maine and I love to help solve challenging problems. Serving in the Legislature gives me the opportunity to work on some of the most pressing issues facing our state every day and is truly a passion of mine.”

Doore said she’s running because “I think I can make a difference by casting votes to improve my community and the lives of its residents.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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