Present employment: Server, landlord
Highest level of education completed: Graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School
Previous elected public office(s) held: No previous offices held
Statement: I am running for state representative because I feel that Maine is facing a number of issues, and we need to get things headed in the right direction. The cost of everything from food to heating oil has gone up significantly this year. Housing prices and taxes are pushing Mainers out of the towns they grew up in. There is a drug epidemic that is costing lives. This needs to be addressed by supporting recovery and making it harder to bring drugs into the state. As a parent, I want to ensure we have a say in what our kids are learning in public schools. I also feel now is a time that we need to follow budgets and control government spending. Maine people cannot afford more of a tax burden right now.
What are your thoughts on proposals to do away with Maine’s income taxes?
I think right now middle-class working Mainers are struggling to pay for basic necessities like rent, gas and groceries. You are in an uphill battle with so much being taken out of your paycheck. If someone wants to make something for themself by working overtime, having a side gig or starting a business, the state needs to stay out of their way.
When it comes to the state budget, what do you see as top priorities for spending or cuts?
We need to remember that the word “budget” essentially means spending less than you make. Maine has received $18 billion in federal dollars (the state budget is just over $8 billion) during the pandemic and this led to an increase in spending through new programs. The day of reckoning will come, so we need to be cautious and responsible going forward. Most Mainers cannot afford higher taxes.
How can Maine best make health care affordable for its citizens?
A problem I see with health care in Maine is that since Medicare was expanded, taxpayers are giving tens of thousands of working-age, able-bodied people with no dependents free health care through Mainecare while we work to pay for our own coverage (and theirs). This is wrong, especially when there are affordable options through the ACA (Affordable Care Act).
What policy changes would you support to protect the environment and respond to climate change?
I personally think that now is not the time to start outlawing gas engines like California, mandating electric cars, or allowing tax dollars to be funneled into wind and solar farms. Fossil fuels are currently needed to supplement wind and solar farms and it is shortsighted to try and force changes that are not technically feasible right now.
Would you vote to support a woman’s right to obtain an abortion?
I do not support taxpayer funding of abortions. Beyond that, I would not seek changes to Maine’s current laws. Right now, I feel we have more pressing issues to be addressed.
What changes would you like to see in the way police do their jobs in Maine?
I would like to see a stronger emphasis on keeping fentanyl out of the state. Mainers are dying every day. This should be the top priority.