2018-11-02 / Community

Maine House of Representatives – District 9

Meet the candidates

With three-term incumbent H. Stedman Seavey dropping out of politics after the June primaries to focus on personal health issues, Republicans caucused in July, tapping Seavey’s brother, Roger, a retired turnpike authority worker and Cape Porpoise resident, to carry their banner into November. In the race once again for the Democrats is Diane Denk, who campaigned against Stedman Seavey in 2014 and 2016.

Survey forms were emailed to both candidates and are printed below in alphabetical order.

Name: Diane M. DenkAge: 68
Address: 32 River’s Edge Drive, Kennebunk. Phone: 604-0838
Occupation: Part time teacher/tutor,

Family: Widowed in 2017 (Roger Hansen); three stepsons/ daughters-in-law Blake/Ann, Mark/Ralinda, Doug/Tanya; four grandchildren Jake, Grace, Lauren, and Avery; two dogs Reggie and Rory.

Education completed: BA and MS Loyola University of Chicago; MAT National Louis University Chicago.

Organizations and activities (including past political experience): Board member of Senior Center in Kennebunk; Former vice-chair and Public Member Maine Board of Dental Examiners; Past public member National and Northeast Boards of Dental Examiners; former Amedisys Hospice volunteer; Organized food and turkey drives for York County shelters; Past board member NAACP; Maine’s Democratic National Committeewoman; Member Maine Democratic State Committee; Past chair of York County Democratic Committee and Democrats of the Kennebunks and Arundel; Delegate to Democratic National Convention 2008, 2012, and 2016; Presidential Elector 2012 and 2016.

Top three issues:

The three issues I’ve chosen are intertwined:

1. Education in all forms is a priority to advance Maine. Starting children in pre-K is essential because most children are now ready to explore and learn at an early age. Every student throughout Maine must have quality learning in the best facilities with state of the art technology and materials and fairly compensated teachers in order to succeed. Our children should be exposed to every avenue of career opportunity to identify their interests and skills.

Trade schools, apprentice programs, and career days with men and women in a wide array of occupations should be included. Working with employers to ensure our students meet their company’s needs is critical. The traditional exposure to colleges and universities should continue. Setting up work/study programs well before senior year is can ensure they are launched into careers and educational paths that fit.

Many students receive their bachelor’s degrees and realize they are not interested or qualified to work in that field and must pay additional money to repeat their education. Others just accept their fates and are unhappy in their career choices because it is all they know how to do. Students need to graduate educated, qualified, and satisfied.

2. Jobs are a continuation of the first area of concern. As a teacher, it saddens me to run into parents of my former students who sigh and tell me their children have gone to Massachusetts and other states due to lack of opportunities in well-paying jobs in Maine.

We must entice businesses in growth industries which pay well in a wide variety of fields. This is accomplished through providing tax incentives, refurbishing abandoned facilities or building new sites, and offering green tariffs.

These are forms of renewable energy such as wind, solar, and hydropower which Maine could readily provide. 75 percent of the large growth industries are making affordable renewable energy key to their decision on relocation. Of course not every opportunity starts from without. There are many small, medium, and even some large businesses which are struggling and laying off workers. They too would benefit from tax incentives and green credits. Maine attracts so many successful retirees who could work with these businesses.

Programs such as SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) help established and start up businesses develop and thrive.

3. Helping seniors is the third part of the equation that desperately needs our attention. Maine is now recognized as becoming the state with the highest percentage of seniors in the country.

Many older people struggle to balance out their meager pensions and savings with the 

exorbitant cost of maintaining their homes, paying for heating, groceries, and medical bills and prescriptions. In addition, many must now assist un/ underemployed grown children and grandchildren.

Add in caring for pets they dearly love and whose own medications or veterinary bills are unaffordable, and their golden years are not golden after all. These issues are tied into the other problems because as younger people leave Maine, there will one day be an insufficient base to pay taxes which help support the seniors. Seniors should have lower state and property taxes, lower home energy bills, much lower or no medical co-pays, and more affordable housing.

This only happens as we strengthen Maine’s economy, attract those growth industries, and keep our best and brightest employed and happy in Maine.

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

I grew up in Springfield, Illinois, in a bipartisan household with Democratic union parents and a proud GOP-grandmother. Everyone got along, worshipped local hero Abe Lincoln and believed Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower saved the world in World War II.

During my college years, whether you supported the war in Vietnam or favored withdrawal, we all were able to be decent and friendly to one another. From a young age I have always volunteered with the elderly, the mentally challenged, and the homeless. I have tried to become a part of the solution and to that end, I would like to serve the people in my district as well as all citizens of Maine.

I want to help restore that ‘50’s pride where we recognize goodness on both sides and work with cooperation and respect. Yes, I believe and advocate strongly for the positions of the Democratic Party. But I count among my friends and family many people of all stripes who view me as fair and hardworking.

As a teacher and former businesswoman and now a senior citizen, I feel I have the perspective that will help set Maine on the proper path to correct the three challenges I have outlined.

Name: Roger Seavey
Age: 62
Address: P.O Box 7144, Cape Porpoise. Phone: 391 8698

Occupation: Retired from Maine Turnpike Authority. Currently working at Bradbury Bros. Market as a closing manager.

Family: Married to Lucille (Dube) for 29 years. We have one daughter that is currently attending college.

Education completed: Graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1974. Attended Southern Maine Community College.

Organizations and activities (including past political experience): Former member of the Kennebunkport Budget Committee; Kennebunkport Fire Department (Cape Porpoise station); Vice president of the Atlantic Firemen’s Educational Assoc.; Former chairman of the Kennebunkport Republican Town Committee; Kennebunkport delegate to the York County Republican Committee; Served as a York County coordinator for the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign.

Top three issues:

1. Opioid Crisis — The opioid crisis is a problem affecting every demographic. Nearly everyone I talk to knows of someone affected by this crisis.

We need to provide better treatment options for addicts such as halfway houses where than can have a safe place to live and be able to take advantage of job training programs. I recently had a conversation with the founder of a home for at risk individuals teaching them boatbuilding.

This type of program teaches them several life skills; responsibility, working with others, setting goals and building confidence. I believe in the long term this is more socially and fiscally responsible with greater upside benefits as opposed to incarceration.

2. Affordable housing is also a major issue. Rising property values and the resulting increases in the property tax have forced many of our commercial fishermen to leave the district.

In Kennebunkport most municipal workers are not paid well enough to live in town.

One of the primary reasons behind this issue is the cost of land coupled with zoning regulations. In the farm and forest Zone for example the minimum lot size is three acres.

In order to recoup the costs of the land larger more expensive homes need to be built. Unnecessary land use regulations which make it unviable for developers to build affordable housing should be reduced or eliminated. Partnerships with the Maine Housing Authority and private groups should be explored.

3. Although it has not yet become a problem in this district, it is other in nearby towns and that issue is voting rights.

I have had many people express their anger over non citizens being allowed to vote. The right to vote is mentioned in the constitution more than any other right and it specifically states that you must be a citizen.

As your representative I will work to make sure that only U.S. citizens can vote.

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

When the campaign season started out in the spring I was running for county commissioner. I made it through the primary process unopposed and was looking forward to a contest with Mr. Dutremble. In mid- to late-July my brother, Stedman (the incumbent) became ill and after consulting with his family decided it would be in his best interests health wise to withdraw from the race.

A caucus was held in late July and I was nominated to replace Stedman and be the new candidate.

I am a Kennebunkport native my family roots go back nearly 300 years. One of my goals in going to Augusta is to try and bring the members of both parties together.

We need to put aside our petty differences, find some common ground we can agree on and work from there. As I was watching a TV show recently they had this great quote that sums up pretty nicely the climate in Augusta: “If no one is talking, no one is listening. And if no one is listening, no one is learning. If no one is learning, nothing is getting done.”

I would be honored to have your vote and to start the process of bringing people together.

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