AUGUSTA — The District 86 race to represent Augusta in Maine House of Representatives pits an incumbent cafe co-owner and teacher against a developer who is a newcomer to politics.

Republican Rep. Justin Fecteau, 35, who teaches German at Maranacook Community High School and co-owns, with his wife, Huiskamer Coffee House in downtown Augusta, said he is running because his life has been about serving others — on the battlefield, in the classroom and at the State House — and he brings a résumé that matches the district’s needs.

Democrat challenger Adam Turner, 46, is a developer of apartment buildings who is now renovating and restoring the former St. Mark’s Episcopal Church property in Augusta. Turner is turning the property into space for the performing arts and community gatherings.

He said he is running to bring his business experience and knowledge to help Maine move forward and find long-term prosperity.

Turner said he sees embracing new, efficient technologies for heating buildings, such as solar energy and heat pumps, as key to the state’s economy and future. He advocates helping Mainers convert their houses, many of which are old and drafty, to more-efficient heating systems.

“Investing in energy-efficient technologies is the closest thing we are going to get to having a money tree for the state,” Turner said.

“Increasing efficiency in home heating and in transportation will save Mainers money and will stimulate the economy by providing good jobs to solar and heat pump designers, installers and manufacturers.”

He said such strategies will require expanding the capacity of the electrical grid, and he said he was in favor of local ownership and local control of utilities, versus foreign-owned utilities, such as Ibedrola, which owns Central Maine Power Co.

Fecteau said getting through the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant concern for the district and state, and said he will continue to support his neighbors and the state’s businesses as they work their way through the coronavirus crisis.

He also said he looked forward “to bringing my work ethic and appetite for transparency and unity to make sure our municipalities can stay afloat, make our schools better each and every year and make sure our limited resources go to our elderly, the disabled and most vulnerable first.”

Fecteau said in order to deal with dramatically reduced state revenues, the Legislature, the governor and Maine people must be involved in discussions on what are “wants” and what are “needs,” and then decide priorities.

He also said the state can make immediate budget cuts by freezing nonessential spending and providing incentives for departments to improve efficiency so the state can provide the same services at a lower cost.

Fecteau said the state has the opportunity to increase revenues by positioning itself as an attractive destination for people looking to leave urban areas for places like Maine.

Turner said the state needs to come up with creative ways to fill the gap in revenues without putting an extra tax burden on people.

He said he will review all programs and support only those that are working and benefitting residents.

He also said he would look broadly at the state budget in search of costs that can be cut, but warned that all cannot be cut equally. He said if the state invests in the economy with some short-term spending, it could help minimize the need for cuts.

Turner said climate change is the most-pressing matter facing the next generation of Mainers, and Maine can be a leader in this area by putting its economy on track in a sustainable way.

“I think that all Mainers deserve access to a good education and good health care, and that most people want to work hard and be productive members of society,” Turner said.

“Legislators have the responsibility of making sure that hard-working people get to enjoy the prosperity they have built for themselves, and also the responsibility of making sure that people who are struggling to find work have the tools and resources they need.”

Fecteau said the next generation of Mainers, residents who might voting for the first time this year, need access to higher education and should have expanded internship, apprenticeship and study-abroad opportunities that would help create a stronger workforce in Maine.

“I’ve seen how our city has changed over the years, and I bring a résumé that’s representative of this city’s people, one of service to our country, public service in the classroom and now completely invested in Augusta’s success with a small business,” Fecteau said.

“In the Legislature, I lived up to my promises and have been a fiercely independent voice for us all.”


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