Rep. Michael Sylvester, D-Portland, is seeking re-election to the Maine House District 39 seat in what is virtually an uncontested race.

Republican Peter Doyle’s name will appear on the ballot, but he declined a request to be interviewed and has not raised or spent any money on his campaign.

Sylvester, a Maine Clean Elections candidate, lives on Peaks Island, where he runs a golf cart rental business. The 49-year-old is completing his first term representing House District 39, which includes the East End, eastern waterfront and the Casco Bay islands.

Although he chairs the progressive caucus, Sylvester said he has been able to secure bipartisan support for a local option sales tax, which would allow municipalities to generate revenue from tourism-related industries. Though the bill did not get enough support to pass, he hopes to reintroduce that legislation in the next term.

“We were able to accomplish a lot of things in terms of holding the line on the minimum wage and a lot of bills that were, in my view, targeting immigrants in Maine and being able to really push forward some progressive legislation,” he said.

A Democratic Socialist, Sylvester supports the expansion of Medicaid that was approved by voters. And he also supports a so-called Medicare-for-all bill, which would provide health insurance to everyone.


He also supports changing state law to allow for safe consumption sites, where people struggling with heroin addiction can shoot up under medical supervision. Some advocates have talked about creating a site in Portland, as a way to prevent overdose deaths and help people find treatment when they are ready.

Although there is currently a shortage of treatment options, Sylvester said he still supports safe consumption sites.

“Nobody can seek treatment if they’re not alive,” he said. “We’re in a little bit of a triage stage where we need to keep people alive.”

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

Twitter: randybillings

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