Party affiliation:

Democrat

Residence:

Gardiner

Social media accounts:

Facebook @thomharnett2018

Occupation:

Mayor, city of Gardiner

Education:

Fordham University, B.A., 1977; New York University Law School, J.D., 1980

Community Organizations:

Mayor Gardiner, 2012-present; Gardiner City Council, 2011; Gardiner Age Friendly Committee, member; Gardiner Parks and Recreation Committee, member; Gardiner Main Street, board member; Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, board member; Gardiner Library Trustees, ex-officio board member; Kennebec Land Trust, board member; Maine Justice Foundation, past chair; GLEN-Southern Maine, past board member

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):

By trade, I am a lawyer who recently retired as an assistant attorney general working in the Natural Resources Division of the Maine Office of the Attorney General. As past president of the Maine Bar Foundation, I was responsible for funding entities that provide legal services to people of low income and other vulnerable populations.

Family status:

Married to Lisa Copenhaver, two children

Years in the Legislature:

None

Committee assignments (if elected):

Judiciary, Energy and Natural Resources

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?

I support a holistic and compassionate approach to all addiction and the opiate epidemic. The key to stopping any epidemic is prevention. Money not spent up front results in more money spent later.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?

To address child abuse, we need to fund social workers to work with families and provide education about raising children in a healthy way.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?

Schools need to prepare students to be able to move on from high school to a career path that meets their needs or to higher education. We need our kids to thrive on all paths.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?

Absolutely. Our health care system is seriously flawed. Health care is a right, not something that should be determined by income or access to insurance.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?

I support the proposal. Allowing people to stay in their homes as long as possible, increases quality of life and reduces costs. The problem is our health care system.

6) Are you frustrated by the political sniping, exaggeration and even lies between the parties and their supporters that have threatened progress usually reached through respect and reasoned compromise? If so, what will you personally do to make the situation better?

I have served as mayor of Gardiner for six years in a non-partisan position. I have worked to build consensus. Much of what we do has nothing to do with party affiliation. I can do that as a representative.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.

I love Bruce Springsteen and have seen him over 30 times.

Speed Round

Should voters be required to show ID at the polls?

No

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