Democrat Cathy Breen is running for re-election to the Maine Senate against challenger Charles Barton “Bart” Ladd, a Republican and former Georgia lawmaker.

Breen and Ladd both live in Falmouth, which is part of Senate District 25 along with Cumberland, Gray, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, Long Island and part of Westbrook.

Breen, a former Falmouth Town Council chairwoman, was elected to the Senate in 2014, in a tight race with Republican Cathy Manchester. Manchester was briefly seated as senator after 21 ballots from Long Island were discovered, but Breen was confirmed as the winner after a recount.

In her term as a senator, Breen said she fought to release Land for Maine’s Future bond funds for conservation projects in the district and pushed a bill to expand tax breaks for Maine graduates to pay off student debt.

“I’ve tried really hard to focus on what matters for the district, which is education, the environment and taxes. Hopefully they will send me back,” Breen said.

She is preparing a bill to revive the circuit-breaker program, a property tax rebate policy for seniors that was replaced with an income tax break in 2013. The new policy isn’t as much help for seniors who want to stay in their homes, she said. Rising property taxes are an issue, but Breen doesn’t think adding a local sales tax will work. Previous attempts to add local option sales taxes have been fiercely opposed by businesses, Breen added.


Breen supports referendums to require background checks for private gun sales and to raise the minimum wage, but not to legalize recreational marijuana. She is opposed to Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s income tax and believes the state is not doing enough to respond to the opiate abuse crisis.

Breen votes with her party, but denied she is too partisan. “I live in a district of mixed enrollment. I have been endorsed by a variety of parties, and I work across the aisle all the time,” Breen said.

Ladd, a Delta Airlines captain, was in the Georgia General Assembly from 1991-1999 and a state senator from 1999-2003. In 2011, he moved to Falmouth because he was attracted to its good schools, he said.

If elected he would be more independent than Breen and break with his party on issues that matter to the district, Ladd added.

“I would be not as partisan; I have a record of working across the aisle,” he said.

Ladd said he wants to address the “demographic death spiral” affecting the state by attracting and retaining new residents and entrepreneurs. Specifically, Ladd said he wants to address Maine’s property tax burden by introducing local sales taxes and raising more revenue from visitors and part-time residents.


Ladd said he wants to change the rules to abolish joint House-Senate committees because it “robs the state Senate of its independence and its proper role in checks and balances.”

To address climate change Ladd said he would push for the state to drop daylight saving time to save energy and reduce emissions. He is also a supporter of the state’s solar industry and agrees with a system of credits that power companies reimburse to household solar producers known as net metering.

Ladd said he supports eventually eliminating the income tax and opposes background checks for private gun sales and legalized marijuana. He said the state’s opiate crisis was “so sad” and would like to do more, but wouldn’t have specific budgetary information until he was elected.

Both Breen and Ladd are publicly funded through the Maine Clean Election Act, which limits private contributions and provides supplemental funds for Senate candidates. Breen had raised $35,000 through Sept. 20, according to her most recent filing. Ladd filed more recently, and had raised $28,375 through Oct. 25.


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