On Tuesday, Nov. 8 Piscataquis County residents will be heading to the polls — please check with the town offices for specific times and locations — to vote in the U.S. Presidential election, make a choice for the Maine’s 2nd Congressional District representative and decide six state ballot questions. Residents will also vote for their respective Maine Statehouse representative and who will serve in the Maine Senate District 4 seat.
HOUSE DISTRICT 119
Representing Abbot, Beaver Cove, Bowerbank, Greenville, Guilford, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec, Shirley, Willimantic plus the unorganized territories of Blanchard Township, Northeast Piscataquis (including Barnard and Elliottsville Townships) and Northwest Piscataquis
Paul A. Stearns
Occupation: Stearns retired in October of 2013 after a 37-year career in public education. He taught and coached for 19 years in SAD 4 in the Guilford-area before becoming principal of Upper Kennebec Valley Jr./Sr High School in Bingham in 1996. He then served as principal in SAD 68 (Dover-Foxcroft-area) from 1999-2003 when he returned to SAD 4 to serve as superintendent of schools for 10 years.
Education: 1973, Hampden Academy; 1977, Bachelor of Science, HPER, University of Maine-Presque Isle; 1992, Master of Education, Education Administration, University of Maine; 1999 Certificate of Advanced Study, Educational Leadership, University of Maine; 2016 Distinguished Service Award – Maine School Superintendents Award.
Family: Stearns lives in Guilford with his wife of 39 years, Melissa, an elementary school teacher. They have two children. Sara is a preschool teacher in Portland and Benjamin is a U.S. Border Patrol agent stationed in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Political experience: 127th Maine Legislature – Education and Cultural Affairs Committee; 2015 School Leadership Task Force Member; NCSL Education Committee; Guilford Board Of Appeals.
Community/volunteer experience: Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (Executive Board); NRA member; 2013 President – Maine School Superintendent’s Association; 2013 Commissioner of Education Award for Service; 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award – Maine School Superintendents Association; Past Chairman-Funding Committee – Maine School Superintendent’s Association; Past Member-Project Impact State Advisory Board; Lead Delegate–College Board Chinese Bridges Tour; Past President–Guilford Area Kiwanis.
Why are you running for office?: The reason that I am running for a second term is to try to shape policies that will benefit hard working individuals and small businesses.
What is the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time? In my opinion the most concerning issue is governmental stability. Partisan, reactionary and isolated policy battles have lessened our effectiveness in tackling comprehensive tax code reform, the opioid crisis, senior citizen safety, fair education funding, reduced welfare fraud and reduced governmental regulations. We have made some gains, but we can do much better.
HOUSE DISTRICT 120
Representing Atkinson, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft, Medford, Milo and Lake View Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Orneville Township
Occupation: Retired, 32 years in SAD 4, high school teacher, PCHS principal and superintendent of schools. Consultant to Maine Department of Education for 11 years.
Education: Higgins Classical Institute, B.A. history UMO and Master of Education UMO.
Family: Married to Helen Higgins 49 years, two children Mark and Heather — five children — of Thomaston and Dr. Leigh Ann Higgins and John Schultzel — three children — of Cape Elizabeth. Graduates of Foxcroft Academy.
Political experience: Served in 127th Maine Legislature. A member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. A member of the Maine Biomass Commission. A member of the National Commission on Time and Learning and Vice Chair of the National Council for Basic Education.
Community experience: Dover-Foxcroft Budget Committee, Dover-Foxcroft Board of Selectmen (elected three times), HAD 4/Mayo Regional Hospital Board of Directors (elected two times), Foxcroft Academy Board of Trustees and Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, Chair Board of Trustees.
Why are you running for office? For five decades we have lived in Dover-Foxcroft, our children attended our schools and we have participated in the life of our community. We have witnessed the decline in our local economy, experienced first-hand our children leaving our county and the major decline in our student enrollment, struggled to provide services to our aged parents and know the struggle for our friends and neighbors to continue to live in our area. I believe in the future of Piscataquis County and the experiences of working with local leaders in Atkinson, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft and Milo confirms this belief. I look forward to continuing to work in economic development, job creation, preserving the independence of our hospital and strengthening our schools.
What is the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time? It is apparent that our state has a significant list of issues that impacts our daily lives. Ask anyone and they will list specific issues all of which are worthy of our consideration. Each of the issues requires that we “work together” and find common sense solutions that improves the quality of life for Mainers. The result of the negative political environment has resulted in a lack of confidence in our ability to solve our problems. I will continue my across the aisle engagement to create opportunities for Piscataquis County.
Richard A. Evans, MD
Education: I am a graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry. At the time of graduation, I was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U. S. Air Force Reserves through the USAF Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC).
I attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. I then entered a five-year residency training program in general surgery at the Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia, completing this training at The Cooper Medical Center in Camden, N.J. I then entered active military duty as a captain with my first assignment at Loring AFB, Limestone, serving as chief, hospital services.
My next assignment was at Offutt AFB, Neb. where I served as chairman, department of surgery, in which part of my duties included training surgical residents from the University of Nebraska School of Medicine. Next I was selected as a Lt. Col., becoming commander of the 351st Strategic Hospital, Whiteman AFB, Mo., and subsequently, commander of the 28th Medical Group, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. I also attended the School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, Texas, becoming a flight surgeon.
During my military career, I received the Meritorious Service Medal for Outstanding Leadership, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Family: My wife Bonny and I have lived in Maine for the past 20 plus years. Bonny is a former educator, media specialist and educational technology consultant. We have a blended family of two daughters and a son, and now six grandchildren. Tonya is a professor of Law and Associate Dean at Widener University, Harrisburg, Pa. Nathan is part owner of an automotive business and resides in Oklahoma with his wife Amy and their three daughters. Dorey and her husband Josh are educators and graduates of the University of Maine-Farmington. They reside in Bloomsburg, Pa. with their three daughters.
Political experience: I have never run for any political office in the past. In fact, I do not necessarily accept the constraint that political experience is a measure of one’s ability to know or do what is right. I believe that leadership and moral character are more important. My experiences and leadership training during my U. S. Air Force career were both educational and rewarding. As a past president of the Maine Medical Association, I received the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Additionally, I was recently installed as chair of the New England Delegation to the American Medical Association. I am no stranger to our democratic parliamentary process. These experiences have taught me not only how to be a leader, but the importance of leadership and character.
Community experience: One of my passions has been to mentor several students who have expressed an interest in pursuing careers in medicine. This group includes both high school and college students. A strong part of this process includes education regarding what is expected, how to prepare and the opportunities that are available for financing their postgraduate educations. The objective is to encourage them to believe in themselves and their abilities, and with the appropriate guidance and assistance, hopefully they will go forward and return home to Maine after completion of their education.
Why are you running for office? My candidacy is about “We the People,” the people of Maine and especially those in Piscataquis County. It seems today that we are trapped in a time warp. As I have traveled around the towns in our district, my suspicions have been confirmed. Maine is not fulfilling its promise to its citizens. I am dismayed by the conditions under which many are living. I was raised in a family of six children. My father was a truck driver and only went to the eighth grade, my mom a homemaker who only went to the ninth grade. I saw how hard they struggled just to make ends meet. I know what it’s like to go to bed without a meal or to school without a lunch. It seems that far too many Mainers are experiencing these same calamities today. If our society continues to allow these wrongs to go unchallenged, we leave the impression that those wrongs have the approval of the majority. The imperative for us as citizens is to define what is right and to do it. So, I run not for myself, but for those we have forgotten, those whose voices are not being heard, who live in poverty, are unemployed, the elderly and for the future of our children. Instead of the way life should be, I want a Maine community as good as its promise.
What is the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time? Without question, the most concerning problems facing Maine today are the opioid/heroin epidemic, Maine’s failure to implement Medicaid expansion and the dismantling of our public health infrastructure.
Our state is facing its most challenging public health crisis in decades. The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention has placed opioid abuse and addiction on its top five list of the greatest public health challenges we face as a nation. This problem has created a public health concern of massive proportions. In 2014, 47,055 people died from overdoses. Not only is this number higher than deaths caused by vehicle crashes, it is the largest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in U. S. history. The overdose death rate in Maine increased 31 percent from 2014-15. Additionally, one out of every 11 babies born in 2015 were drug affected. In 2015, 272 Maine citizens lost their lives to opioid/heroin deaths. We can no longer say that this problem is “not in my backyard”. It is now in the homes of many Maine families. We are at a point where Maine should be investing in its public health system, not dismantling it or outsourcing of specific public health services. These unilateral changes by the current administration in our public health infrastructure at this time in particular, are alarming and irresponsible. Maine’s treatment options for this addiction problem are sparse. In 2015, those options decreased further because of the closure of two treatment centers in Maine, Mercy Recovery Center in Westbrook and Spectrum Health Systems in Sanford. Medicaid Expansion, to which Gov LePage is ideologically opposed, would substantially increase access for substance abuse treatment across the state.
With Medicaid expansion, new federal dollars brought into the state would have a significant and positive effect on overall economic activity and job creation, not to mention preventing underinsured and uninsured Mainers from seeking needed healthcare or going into bankruptcy. Many Mainers are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet and are still being left behind. As the federal government picks up more of the Medicaid burden, the state would be in a much better position to provide living wages which translates to a healthier population and a healthier workforce. A large number of those estimated to gain coverage through expansion are in working families. They may be in jobs that do not offer health insurance, they may be working as contractors rather than employees, or they may be working part-time. All of these people would benefit from Medicaid expansion. People deserve to feel safe and secure, to be able to earn a decent living wage, to have affordable healthcare to which they are entitled and not be kicked to the side of the road as they approach retirement. Medicaid expansion would provide needed coverage for 64,000 uninsured Mainers, provide jobs across all work sectors and increase the state’s revenue base. Finally, those corporations who come to the state, receive perks and incentives from the state and then abruptly re-locate, leaving workers and taxpayers high and dry, must be required to pay a severe cost for these grotesque levels of greed. The wealthy and powerful should not have a stranglehold on tax cuts or tax breaks. Businesses owe their lives to the everyday workers and taxpayers. So if we want to increase revenue and effectively balance the budget, we must reverse the course on which we are now traveling.
SENATE DISTRICT 4
Representing Abbot, Alton, Athens, Atkinson, Beaver Cove, Blanchard Township, Bowerbank, Bradford, Brighton Plantation, Brownville, Cambridge, Charleston, Detroit, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Garland, Greenville, Guilford, Harmony, Hartland, Kingsbury Plantation, LaGrange, Lake View Plantation, Medford, Milo, Monson, Northeast Piscataquis, Northwest Piscataquis, Palmyra, Parkman, Ripley, St. Albans, Sangerville, Sebec, Shirley, Wellington and Willimantic
Paul Davis Sr.
Education: Dexter High School; University of Maine.
Family: Wife of 47 years, Patricia. Two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Political experience: School board, selectman, House of Representatives, State Senate.
Community/volunteer experience: Volunteer auctioneer, I do 10 or so auctions a year for Kiwanis clubs, JD Foundation, Jimmy Fund. Sportsman Alliance of Maine, Boy Scouts, etc. Many worthy causes. Board of Directors or member of the following: Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Sportsman Alliance of Maine and Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club.Moderator for several town meetings and school budget meetings.
Why are you running for office? Maine’s biggest export is its youth. I want to make Maine more business friendly to bring good jobs to Maine so our young can stay in Maine. We also need to find ways to stop our retirees fleeing Maine for more tax friendly states.
I like to help people. I like to cut through the red tape to help people with their issues. I have the time and the energy to make a difference for people.
People often find it difficult to go through the red tape so often found in government to get the help they need. It has been my pleasure to be able to do this. From people needing help with licenses, issues with Department of Human Services, to getting a son or daughter home from overseas. These are just a few of the things I have done to help people.
What is the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time? Jobs and the economy.
The high cost of energy and our tax base is keeping business away.
Being the oldest state in the union is not a promising thing. Families are often divided by great distances because of the lack of opportunities. This in itself causes other hardships our elderly are often left with little or no family during their declining years.
Occupation: Retired science educator, certified in life and physical science.
Education: BA Sociology and Zoology, UMO; MSEd Curriculum and Instruction, St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
Family: Married to Eric Boothroyd, we have a blended family of five children and three grandchildren.
Political experience: This is my first time running for the Maine Legislature. My only other publicly elected office was a school board member, SAD 46 in 1990.
Community/volunteer experience: Education Advisory Board, Unity College; Co-Chair-Sustainabilty Day, Maine Central Institute; Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention trainer; Natural Resources Management Certification, UMF; Member of Natural Resources Council of Maine, Forest Society of Maine, Maine Sierra Club, Friends of the Piscataquis Valley, Maine People’s Alliance, National Science Teachers Association, Maine Math and Science Association, Piscataquis County Democratic Committee chair.
Why are you running for office? I’m running for the Maine State Senate to represent District 4, because for 30 years I have seen our district lose population and good jobs. I have watched too many families sink into poverty. I’ve seen too many of our senior citizens, our schools and health care facilities struggling to get by. Instead of thriving communities, we have an opiate and alcohol abuse crisis. I want to be part of a team that finds solutions to the problems that are holding us back from achieving healthy, successful communities.
What is the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time? One of the most concerning issue facing Mainers at this time is our aging population. We face shortages in senior housing, home care and long-term care. There is a need for a greater investment in programs to support aging adults. At the same time, we must recommit to young families with quality education and training for our children’s future. We must prepare them for the challenges of a 21st century economy and invest in our infrastructure to support and encourage future employment opportunities in our district.