2016-11-04 / Community

Election 2016

Meet the candidates

Senate District 32

The race for District 32 in the Maine State Senate – which serves Kennebunkport and Arundel, as well as Alfred, Biddeford, Dayton, and Lyman – features freshman Democratic incumbent Susan Deschambault of Biddeford against Republican challenger Matthew Stone, also a Biddeford resident.

Name: Susan Deschambault

Age: 68

Address: Porter Street, Biddeford

Phone: 284-4884 email: susan.deschambault@gmail.com

Occupation: Retired social worker for the Maine Department of Corrections (43 years)

Family: One child

Education completed: Bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Francis College (UNE); paralegal studies from the University of Southern Maine

Political experience: Biddeford City Council (two terms; Maine State Senate (since March)

Organizations and activities: Biddeford Charter Revision Commission, York County Budget Committee, Former Police Commissioner (12 years); Maine Criminal Justice Commission (17 years, treasurer); Biddeford School System Policy Committee, 15 year volunteer of PeoplesChoice Credit Union and current Board Director; Biddeford Planning Board (current chairman)

Top three issues:

1. Addiction — The statewide drug crisis in Maine is acutely felt in this county due in large part to our location and population cluster. We need to continue to build upon the grassroots efforts begun here in Biddeford by fostering a collaborative effort among the stakeholders of those experiencing addiction. Families, public safety, treatment providers and community leaders who are now focusing their efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse all need to be involved in an approach that includes a focus on prevention, treatment and enforcement. We must also look at the root causes of addiction and improve our response and delivery of services to those who have a dual diagnosis.

2. Economic growth — Building and maintaining our infrastructure systems will best prepare us to attract well-paying and fulfilling jobs. Our roads and bridges require our attention, we need expanded access to reliable high speed broadband internet, and diversification in our energy portfolio with clean job creating renewable energy sources in order to be competitive in the modern marketplace. I support the Maine Democratic vision statement for a Better State of Maine.

3. Education — We must address the deficiencies in our schools and support the visions of our educators. Pre-K education is a jump start that pays huge dividends in a child’s life. I strongly support addressing the state’s need to expand career oriented training in trades to best prepare our students to be ready, willing and able to join the labor market upon graduation. Post-graduate schooling must be affordable for our children planning to attend a college in Maine. A college graduate should not be saddled with mounting student loan debt. I will foster initiatives to help the next generation succeed.

Why are you seeking elected office?

As the incumbent in Maine state Senate I have the desire to continue representing District 32. Each area of the district has a unique need for advocacy on the state level and I will continue to address and promote their individuality from maintaining the sustainability of our farming communities, finding a location for a new county courthouse, maintaining the beauty and diversity of our coastal areas and continuing my focusing on economic growth, public health issues and education.

My education, career and community volunteer work has prepared me to apply my skills and talents in serving my constituents. My statewide work within the criminal justice system, my volunteer work with schools and financial institutions and my role as a single parent have all contributed to my experience and willingness to problem solve. I possess the education, skills and desire to get the job done.

If you could change one thing about state government or your legislative district, what would it be and how would you do it?

I am proud to represent the six towns within District 32. I will continue to advocate at the state level and work hard to ensure the state continues to pay its fair share to communities through revenue sharing. We cannot push more financial responsibility onto communities as that will only result in the burden being increased on the property tax payers. I will work with all of my colleagues in the Legislature to make our voices heard so the state contin- ues to fund revenue sharing at appropriate levels.

Name: Matt Stone

Age: 28

Address: Kossuth Street, Biddeford

Phone: 333-9523 email: matthew.william.stone@gmail.com

Occupation: Not-for-profit financial services [organization not specified]

Family: Single

Education: Oak Hill High School, Wales

Political experience: None

Organizations and activities: Peter Mills for Maine Governor campaign staffer; Associate finance director on the Angus King for U.S. Senate campaign

Top three issues:

1. Opioid abusers need a strict regimen of “tough-love” if they’re to overcome their addiction. That means drying them out, not weaning them onto other substances. Ever since a recent drug-related murder in Biddeford, I keep hearing the phrase “law and order” come up as I go door-to-door. I believe it’s time to temporarily deploy the Maine National Guard’s military police unit along our state borders to help identify and catch out-of-state heroin distributors before they’re able to deliver their poison. These criminals will think twice before coming to Maine when they hear of roving squads of armed soldiers patrolling York County.

2. The ravages of globalization have left our local economy lacking good paying, full-time jobs. For my generation, this prohibits us from buying a home and having kids. I see a lot of pain in the eyes of grandparents when they talk about how their families are stretched thin across an entire continent because there weren’t enough opportunities in Maine. I will work hard to reduce the costs of electricity and healthcare, as well the burdensome tax and regulatory environment that have made Maine a difficult place to do business in. Our families are depending on it.

3. Maine’s ballot referendum process needs to be reformed before we end up like California, a state where voters cast ballots on literally dozens of referendums each cycle. This results in unbalanced budgets and still higher taxes. Special interests have enough power without giving them one more tool to buy votes en masse. I urge fellow citizens to vote “no” on all ballot questions. Direct democracy didn’t work for ancient Athens and it won’t work now.

Why are you seeking elected office?

This is a unique election year in the history of our country. Considering my experiences in politics and the private sector, I thought it was time for me to step forward and help lead a community that has been so good to me over the years.

I believe Maine is one of the best places in the world to raise a family, but that’s becoming increasingly difficult because of stagnant wages and out-of-control healthcare costs. This is compounded by a rising tide of Third World immigration that threatens the historic character and culture of our people. I saw first hand what the Somalian refugee crisis did to Lewiston and I never want to see that happen here. All of these problems can be attributed to the failures of globalization. The current reactionary trend throughout Europe and America is towards a new kind of nationalism that rejects the ruinous open border and free trade policies of our global elite. And what better way to fight globalism than by organizing at the local level?

I’m running for this seat because I’m a proud American Nationalist. It’s time to move beyond the false duality of left-right politics and take the best of both sides. By embracing economic populism and a healthy dose of social conservatism, we have a serious chance of preserving the historic American nation.

If you could change one thing about state government or your legislative district, what would it be and how would you do it?

My advantage over my opponent is that I owe no favors to Biddeford’s political establishment, particularly the mayor and his cabal. My opponent, on the other hand, is a rubber stamp for all their personal economic desires. There are many hard working, honorable people in city government, but our leaders don’t have the best interests of our citizens at heart. People are overdosing from heroin every day and yet the city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an unnecessary sidewalk renovation on Main Street. The last thing this senate district needs is another member of that cabal directing state funds towards their pet projects.

If I get elected, I will work to enact conflict of interest reforms that will make it illegal for city councilors to use taxpayer money to line the pockets of their friends and business associates. The integrity of government’s regulatory role is threatened when our elected officials are being greased in such an obvious fashion. Would you trust a referee who had skin in the game? We need leaders who put the interests of all Mainers first, not special interests.

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