ELLSWORTH — Three candidates are vying for the state Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Brian Langley, who is term-limited after serving eight years in the Senate.
Louie Luchini of Ellsworth, who has served four terms in the Maine House, and Ian Schwartz of Mount Desert, a writer and teacher, will face off in the Democratic primary.
The winner will face State Rep. Richard Malaby of Hancock, a Republican who has served four terms representing District 136, in the general election.
In an emailed statement, Luchini wrote that, if elected, he’ll continue to focus “on fighting the opiate crisis, improving our economy, and ensuring access to quality health care.” Luchini has served as chairman of the Ethics Committee as well as the committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, and was awarded the 2017 American Legion Legislator of the Year award.
Luchini wrote that he is “focused on retaining and attracting young people to live and work in Maine,” citing his work on the passage of a $50 million research and development bond, $12.5 million of which was allocated to The Jackson Laboratory for its expansion into Ellsworth.
Schwartz spent eight years teaching in South Korea, time that he credits with heavily influencing his views on health care and gun regulation. Schwartz wrote in an email that his goals, if elected, would be to ban the purchase of AR-15 rifles and raise the legal age to purchase a firearm to 21. Schwartz also wrote that he would work to regulate the internet as a public utility, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expand MaineCare services and provide public daycare to all Maine residents, among other objectives.
Malaby, who owns the Crocker House Inn and restaurant in Hancock, has spent years on the Health and Human Services Committee, where he’s focused extensively on mental health care, including advocating for increased spending on mental health care, substance abuse services and elder care.
Malaby was voted Citizen of the Year in Hancock in 2009 and has served on Hancock’s budget committee and is a member of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the board and as chairman of the board of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.