Statehouse hopefuls step up

By Kate Cough

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The Islander’s coverage area includes three legislative districts in the Maine House of Representatives. Brian Hubbell of Bar Harbor is the only incumbent running for re-election this year. The June primaries will be a formality, since none are contested.

The winner in each district will be paid a state salary: $24,430 for the two-year period in which he or she serves, receiving $14,272 for the first regular session (which lasts around six months) and $10,158 for the second regular session (around four months). Lawmakers receive health care benefits and pay for special sessions and committee meetings, $70 per night for lodging and meals, and reimbursement for mileage.

District 132: Ellsworth and Trenton

This district likely will see changes come June, as Chris Keefe, the Democrat registered to run for the seat, plans to withdraw his name from consideration after the primary. Keefe declined to provide a statement.

Republican candidate Mark Remick has worked as a police officer in Maine and Michigan, and served in the Air National Guard. He has served as a firefighter and medic in Ellsworth and owns Maine Storage Plus in Ellsworth.

Remick, vice chairman of the Trenton Board of Selectmen, said he’s focused on “encouraging business expansion and development in our communities, addressing the opioid crisis, broadening the health care access and affordability, advancing the missions of our schools, easing the economic pressures of the tax dollar demands,” adding that he wants to “bolster the business environment and help our communities retain and attract a workforce that proudly thrives.”

District 134: Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swans Island, Tremont, Vinalhaven and Marshall Island Township

Republican Philip Brady will face Democrat Genevieve McDonald.

Brady is the director of the Advanced Hypnosis Center in Deer Isle and the owner of Joseph C. Lincoln Books. He has served as a firefighter, part-time police officer and emergency manager for the town of Deer Isle, as well as the town chairman for the Deer Isle Republicans. He also has worked with the American Red Cross. A retired member of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Brady wrote in an email that he is running “to make the voice of my district heard in Augusta.”

McDonald, a lobsterman and substitute teacher, also is a Downeast Region representative on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council. She wrote in a press release that she wants to fight for recognition of her region as “the source of a significant revenue generating natural resource in the state.” Her key issues, McDonald wrote, are “successfully managing Maine’s marine resources, preserving our working waterfront and shoreline access, building Maine’s rural economy and assuring the best possible education for our children. Other issues I am concerned about include opiate addiction and coordinating outreach services for at-risk youth.”

District 135: Bar Harbor, Lamoine and Mount Desert

Incumbent Brian Hubbell, a Democrat, will seek a fourth term. He will face Republican Maurice Joseph Marshall in the general election.

Marshall has training in the fine arts and has worked in banking, broadcasting, emergency medical services, fine dining and education. He has been a moderator at town meetings for Southwest Harbor, Lamoine and Hancock. He wrote in an email that his “wide experience and local heritage will serve to advocate for the needs of every resident of Bar Harbor, Lamoine, and Mount Desert in Augusta.” He also serves as editorial cartoonist for the Islander.

Hubbell has served on the Education Committee, chaired the legislature’s Education Funding Commission and worked on state policy regarding proficiency-based learning. He serves on the Appropriations Committee and has worked to increase state support through bonds for scientific research and regional development. Hubbell wrote in a press release that for a fourth term, he would “focus on retaining smart, young Mainers through sustainable economic development, continuing to improve public and postsecondary education, and building an environmentally responsible state energy policy.”

Clean Election funding

Candidates requesting Clean Election funding for their campaigns must collect the required 60 qualifying contributions of $5 each by April 20.

Of the seven Democratic candidates registered with the Maine Ethics Commission (the body that enforces Maine’s campaign finance laws), six are seeking Clean Election funding. McDonald is the lone Democrat running a traditionally financed campaign.

Remick is the sole Republican seeking Clean Election funding; the remaining candidates in the party are running traditionally financed campaigns.

Candidates running “clean” for the House of Representatives are eligible for $500 in state funds for an uncontested primary and $2,525 in a contested race; $1,525 for an uncontested general election and $5,075 in a contested one. Those who collect additional qualifying contributions are eligible for additional funds, and all may collect up to $1,000 in “seed money” to jumpstart their campaigns. Unspent money must be returned to the Maine Clean Elections Fund. Clean Election candidates are forbidden from participating in political action committees or accepting outside funds apart from seed money.

Traditionally financed candidates have no limits on how much money they may raise, but individual contributions are capped at a total of $800 for party candidates (this includes the primary and general elections). Enrolled candidates may accept a total of $400 per contribution.

Any candidate running a traditionally financed campaign is free to participate in political action committees.

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