On Tuesday, Nov. 3 Piscataquis County residents who are not voting absentee will be heading to the polls — please check with the town offices for specific times and locations — to vote in the Presidential and Maine U.S. Senate elections, make a choice for the Maine’s 2nd Congressional District representative and decide five state ballot questions. Residents will also vote for their respective Maine Statehouse representative, who will serve in the Maine Senate District 4 seat and Piscataquis County Commissioners District 2 for several communities in the southern part of the region.
HOUSE DISTRICT 104
Representing Charleston, Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Stetson.
Occupation: Retired; formerly sailed as engineering officer (19.5 years) and then worked in maintenance management at Sappi’s Skowhegan Pulp & Paper Mill for 19.5 years.
Education: BS marine engineering, Maine Maritime Academy; associate’s degree pulp and paper technology, Kennebec Valley Community College.
Family: Wife Sharon; three adult children; four grandchildren.
Political experience: Served as District 104 representative in the 129th Legislature.
Community/volunteer experience: SAD 46, AOS 94 school board member 2000-2012, AOS 94 board chair two years; trustee and assistant treasurer, New Hope Baptist Church, Dexter.
Why are you running for office? Service to my community; Desire to see good paying jobs return to the area to improve the economy which will help address many of the issues currently affecting District 104 citizens.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? The effect the state’s lockdown since March is having and will have on the economy, businesses, schools and the citizens of District 104 and what the 130th Legislature will do to address it.
Did not respond to requests to submit information.
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: Retired educator.
Education: High school, Hampden Academy; bachelor of science physical education, recreation University of Maine-Presque Isle; master of education, University of Maine; Certificate of Advanced Study, Educational Leadership, University of Maine.
Family: Spouse of 44 years Melissa, daughter Sara, son Benjamin and two grandchildren.
Political experience: Three terms in the Maine Legislature serving on Education and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife* Joint Committees, including ranked minority member of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Community/volunteer experience: Piscataquis County Economic Development Council Executive Board, Town of Guilford board of appeals, town meeting moderator, past Guilford Area Kiwanis president and Tri-County Tech Center.
Why are you running for office? To continue to advocate for the citizens of the area. Piscataquis County accounts for approximately 1.2 percent of Maine’s population. Many programs, rules, laws and regulations are routinely considered, and often passed, that are geared more for the greater Portland area. My experience is helpful in negating some of those ill effects within the legislative process.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? 1. Affordable, understandable healthcare is a concern for each and every individual in House District 119
2. Property taxes — in particular, how we react to the enormous revenue shortfall projected for the next biennium and beyond. Without some difficult decisions and prioritizing, we will be looking at wiping out any property tax relief and stabilization that we have been able to achieve in the past two years.
3. Addiction — our area, like every are in our state — is cursed with substance addiction and the drain that it places on individual lives as well as scant resources
4. Highways and bridges — while a great deal of progress has been made on some local projects, we need to apply resources from the general fund or, as a state, we will continue to fall further behind on the work schedule.
5. Communication infrastructure — we have plenty of jobs in all sectors, but families and businesses will remain reluctant to locate to the area unless their basic connectivity needs can be met.
6. Targeted pandemic aid — The retail sector in the county is booming — many shop owners are having banner years; while at the same time we have folks in the hospitality and lodging industries that have been hit hard.
Website/social media page: Facebook — Representative Paul Stearns.
Occupation: I began my career as a public school teacher and then moved into university administration as a development officer where I supervised staff, built teams, created and implemented strategic plans, and worked with students, faculty, alumni, corporate and foundation partners. I retired as assistant vice president for corporate and foundation relations, Purdue University.
Education: After earning my bachelor’s degree at Mary Baldwin College, I earned a master’s degree at the University of Arizona.
Family: I am married to John Contreni, professor emeritus of history and former dean of the Graduate School and of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. We have six children — two of whom live in Gorham and Parsonsfield — and 10 grandchildren.
Political experience: I have always voted, and I voted for candidates on both sides of the aisle. I currently serve as chair of the Piscataquis County Democratic Committee, an energetic and committed group dedicated to improving the lives of Mainers and our communities. I am secretary of the Caucus of County Chairs of the Maine Democratic Party where I have a special interest in rural Maine communities.
Community/volunteer experience: I volunteer as a fundraiser for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and served on the League of American Orchestras as volunteer council president. I am a member of the League of Women Voters and of the Greenville Garden Club.
I serve my community and region as vice president of the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation, where I also chair the grants and fundraising committee and co-chair the Downtown (Greenville) Waterfront Park Planning Committee.
Working with local and seasonal residents, businesses, foundations and government agencies, I have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for projects that benefit the community and region.
Why are you running for office? I was inspired to run for office to represent and serve all the people of our region, working together to tackle long standing rural challenges and to strengthen our communities. I will bring new energy, a can-do spirit, and a laser-focused commitment to our district to Augusta.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? The most concerning issue currently is to keep the COVID-19 pandemic at bay and to recover from its economic impact. Long-term we must strengthen our business community and generate more good-paying job opportunities and ensure broader access to affordable healthcare.
Website/social media page: contreni.mainecandidate.com and facebook.com/margaritaformaine.
HOUSE DISTRICT 120
Representing Atkinson, Brownville, Dover-Foxcroft, Medford, Milo and Lake View Plantation, plus the unorganized territory of Orneville Township
Education: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Masters of Education at University of Maine.
Family: Helen Higgins, married 52 years. Children Mark (Andy) and Heather Higgins and Leigh Ann Higgins and John Schultzel. We have eight grandchildren.
Political experience: Maine State Legislature 127th, 128th and 129th. Served on Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. Served on Innovation, Development, Economic and Advancement Committee. Co-Chair of Legislature Broadband Caucus. Served nine years on Dover-Foxcroft Board of Selectmen.
Community/volunteer experience: Foxcroft Academy Board of Trustees, Thayer Parkway Board of Directors, trustee Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church.
Why are you running for office? My extensive experience and engagement in local issues provides the basis for working together to solve our community challenges and to reflect our rural values in shaping statewide public policy.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? We are faced with health care concerns, creating a sustainable economy and senior issues, however, education is our most pressing issue. Our students need to be in school for educational, social and emotional reasons. In addition, I am proposing the development of a new Career and Technical Center for Innovation and Technology in Piscataquis County to prepare our students for the workplace of the future.
Richard A. Evans, MD
Occupation: general surgeon in solo private practice.
Education: I am a graduate of Howard University, Washington, D. C. where I received a bachelor of science degree with a major in microbiology and a minor in Chemistry. I received my doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. I then completed a 5-year residency training program in general surgery from Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Philadelphia and Cooper Medical Center, Camden New Jersey where I served as the chief surgical resident.
Family: My spouse is Bonny Evans, a former educator, library media specialist and educational technology consultant. We have a blended family of two daughters, one son and eight grandchildren.
Political experience: I have not held any publicly elected office positions. I have however been quite active in the political arena. During the run-up to the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (ACA), I was invited to the White House to provide input for this bill. Subsequently, I participated in multiple panel discussions/debates across Maine in promoting the passage of the ACA.
Community/volunteer experience: On the state level, I served as president of the Maine Medical Association, subsequently receiving the association’s highest honor, the President’s Award for Distinguished Service. I currently serve as Maine’s senior delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). On the regional and national levels, I am a past chair of the New England Delegation to the AMA. I am also a current member of the AMA 13-member National Task Force on Election Reform, and the immediate past chair of the AMA’s Committee on Compensation. I am also the current treasurer of the National Organization of State Medical Association Presidents. Because of my active involvement in these professional forums, I am fortunate to have a platform to advocate for and assist in the successful implementation of health policy that affects the lives of every single American citizen. In addition, I have continued to always make time to mentor students in Maine on how to enhance, navigate and prepare for careers in medicine, many of whom have returned to Maine to practice and raise their families where they lived and grew up.
Why are you running for office? My candidacy is about doing what is right, fighting without hesitation or reservation, for those issues that make a difference in the lives of those who cannot advocate or fight for themselves. It is about fairness, inclusion, opportunity, and equality. Far too long, the needs of the citizens of our communities have gone unaddressed or taken for granted. The status quo in which we have been entrapped for so long is not a sustainable path for the betterment of citizens or for our communities. Progress for the citizens of our communities demands new representation and new leadership. If we continue to allow wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.
As a physician and surgeon, a decorated USAF veteran and former hospital commander, a former medical group commander, a past president of the Maine Medical Association, and a regional and national leader and advocate for patients and their families, I understand the importance of unwavering and effective leadership. This need has become crystal clear with the current pandemic and the extreme toll taken of so many in our communities who have been ensnared in poverty and those now teetering on the edge of losing all basic essentials of a quality life. If ever we needed unwavering change, advocacy, and leadership to represent the least fortunate among us, that time is now.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? Maine is in uncharted waters today. The current pandemic is the most immediate challenge that we must successfully mitigate. The coronavirus is novel and like nothing of any magnitude that we have faced in recent history. The consequences of this pandemic cannot be measured in terms of an isolated event, as the effects of this virus not only extends to, but directly intersects with all aspects of our overall basic healthcare and public healthcare infrastructure, from individuals and families and their jobs and income, to the overall balance of Maine’s economic recovery, especially for small businesses, hourly workers and those who are already in or on the edges of poverty. Without continued focused and sustained commitments, from all of us as individuals and as local and state government officials towards management of this massive and potentially expanding problem, the domino effects of these challenges will undoubtedly make our functional and recovery status as a statewide community that much worse. The health and well-being of the people must always be our number one priority.
Website/social media page: Facebook: EvansforMe and EvansforMe.com.
Occupation: Self-employed disabled veteran. Part-time patrol officer for Lincoln PD and Dover-Foxcroft PD.
Education: Graduated from Hermon High School. Graduated from the Defense Language Institute where I studied Korean. Multiple service and leadership schools in the U.S. Army. Some college while serving.
Family: My spouse, Dolly Perkins, and I have been married “forever.” We have 11 children, some made the old fashioned way, some adopted. There are seven girls, four boys, ranging in age from 10 to 30. We are expecting our fifth grandchild in November.
Political experience: I am a former member of the school board for MSAD 41 and a former municipal budget committee member.
Community/volunteer experience: I serve as the vice chairman at Katahdin Valley Health Center. I have previously served as chairman of the Three Rivers Ambulance Service, as commander of American Legion Post #92, as president of the Central Maine Sheep Breeders Association, and for many years served as a scout master.
Why are you running for office? I believe that now, more than ever, our country needs to return to the basics of Constitutional governance. I strongly believe that it is our right, as Americans, to live in a free country, and we need people at all levels of government that share that belief. I believe that true freedom means the freedom to try, succeed and fail by our own efforts, our endeavors and our own work. It is not the government’s job to make us successful, it is ours. Right now we live in a country where government seems to exist only to establish blockades to that success.
It is not only with this current health crisis, it started long before this. We have more laws and regulations on the books than we can count. The Constitution was not written to limit what we can do, it was written to limit what government can do to us. We live in the greatest country in the world. We became this way because men and women were allowed to create, invent, innovate, discover and work their way to success. I did not grow up with much money; when I was in high school I was living in a four-room house with an outhouse (one holer, to boot), but we were happy and we worked hard. When I became very ill, I lost one of my businesses. But situations like these have never stopped my belief that it was my responsibility to make my life better, nobody else was responsible for me.
We need people who advocate for laws that benefit the people of Maine; not outside groups, other states or special interests. We need laws passed only when they benefit the maximum number of people with the minimum impact. We also need to seriously curtail regulations, and get rid of ones that hurt the Maine people and the Maine economy.
We also need to elect people who remember that they are there to serve. The House Majority leader recently told a reporter that she fed the people. If our country is at that state, we are all but lost. We need to change things back to a traditional America, full of industrious, self-reliant and free people, and we need to do it quickly. We also need elected officials who support America, from both sides of the political spectrum. We cannot have our government officials bad mouthing our country, telling us how awful it is and has always been, when these people have never even been outside of it. There is a reason that only 2 percent of the rest of the world lives above our poverty rate and millions apply to come here each year. America is not perfect, no place is, but it is not the land of oppression and ruin that many would like us to believe. A rising tide raises all ships, and America is that tide.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? We face many issues, but the first thing that must be fixed is the economy. We need to get away from the idea that Maine can survive on a tourist-only economy. What happens when the tourists don’t show up, like this year? We need tourism, they don’t call us Vacationland for nothing, but the truth is that Vacationland came about when people could afford a camp on the lake and families actually went on trips together every summer. The demographics and the times have changed. We still need tourism, but we also need the woods industry, manufacturing and every other type of industry we can get. We also need the auxiliary service economies that grow up around them. It seems like our actual biggest export is graduates and our biggest import is social service recipients. We have an aging population. You would not see that if people were moving here, or staying here, to work. The Wall Street Journal reported that between 2011 and 2016 75 percent of Portland’s growth was from foreign born nationals. I support people that come to our country legally and contribute productively. Here is what I have a problem with — according to that same report 70 percent of them receive taxpayer-funded social
assistance. We just do not have an economy that can support this; there are not enough people who stay here to work and companies here to pay those taxes.
To fix this, we need fewer regulations and laws, and we need to support a pro-business environment for the State of Maine and Piscataquis County. In our county, 1 in 5 people live below the poverty rate. We need more than projects that offer temporary jobs. When others talk about preparing students for jobs of the future, we need jobs here for them to take. We need a solid business friendly environment that attracts companies to come and stay.
We need to re-open our economy. We are going through a crisis caused by a virus, that is a fact. It can be dangerous to some high risk populations, that is a fact. In the beginning of this crisis, before anyone knew much about it, a lot of caution was taken, and everyone can be forgiven if that amount of caution was on the high side; that was probably prudent given that we knew so little. However, knowing now that 99 percent of the people that contract this disease survive, that we have obliterated our state economy for a number of deaths equal to .01 percent of our state population is devastating.
People need to work, they need to feed their families, pay their bills, save their businesses. How much more domestic violence, suicide, drug use and depression has been caused by the state lockdown? We need to open the state and open the economy. Has anyone considered the impact on special needs students who normally get constant one-on-one attention at the schoolhouse? How has this affected them, or the elderly, or those suffering from domestic abuse?
We as Mainers, need to be smart. We need to take precautions to protect those in high risk populations. But we need to do it in a way that people can get back to work, back to school and back to life and within the bounds of a free and Constitutionally based society. We the people, need to live, work and worship freely.
Links to a website/social media page(s): https://www.facebook.com/chadperkinsme120.
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.
Occupation: Retired Maine State Police.
Education: ABA Legal Technology, Dexter High School.
Family: Patricia — wife of 51 years, two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Political experience: SAD 4, selectman Sangerville, Maine House of Representatives, State Senate.
Community/volunteer experience: Dover Foxcroft Kiwanis auctioneer, Sportsman Alliance of Maine volunteer, volunteer auctioneer for any worthy cause.
Why are you running for office? To improve the lives for the people of Senate 4.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? Economic recovery from COVID-19. Lack of good broadband. Crumbling infrastructure. Roads and bridges.
Did not respond to requests to submit information.
PISCATAQUIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 2
Representing Atkinson, Bowerbank, Dover-Foxcroft, Medford, Orneville and Sebec.
Occupation: Executive director, Center Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Education: Graduated from Foxcroft Academy in 1990, bachelor of arts English literature, University of Maine, Orono.
Family: Married for 22 years to Teresa Myers, one daughter, Alice, 14 years old.
Political experience: None.
Community/volunteer experience: Founder, Maine Whoopie Pie Festival; chair of the Board of Directors: Piscataquis Regional Food Center; board member: Central Hall Commons; treasurer: Slightly Off-Center Players Community Theater Group; member of East Sangerville Grange; Past founding board member: True North Theatre Company; founder of Jack Does That, a regional hour exchange; grant writer, Camp Capella; past membership/marketing director Piscataquis Regional YMCA; past member of Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club; Past board vice chair, Maine Crafts Association; past member of Piscataquis Tourism Taskforce; past member of Piscataquis County Cultural Heritage, Eco Tourism Committee; past cultural heritage director, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council.
Why are you running for office? To make Piscataquis County a better place — a place where I hope my daughter will make her home one day.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? The most immediate issue is the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it is having on our homes and businesses. However, in a broader sense, many of our immediate problems are worsened and compounded by the generational poverty that has gripped our communities since the middle of the 20th century.
Occupation: General contractor, including masonry and carpentry.
Education: High school diploma and some college for ministerial and music majors.
Family:Wife, Sara and three children, Isaac, Andrew and Anna.
Political experience: Served on the Piscataquis County Republican Committee for many years, served as a GOP Platform Committee Member for over a decade and the current and former chair three other times, worked for the Freedom 14′ Campaign as Bangor HQs coordinator, consulted for many campaigns here in Piscataquis County since 2010 (including for Sen. Paul T. Davis), served on the Executive Committee of Maine State GOP as the CD2 representative, served as the CD2 rep. to the RNC on rural voting tactics and initiatives, worked for the NRA-ILA as a state coordinator for the “No on Q3” ballot initiative, worked as a grassroots activist.
Community/volunteer experience: Served as a youth pastor in Dover-Foxcroft and Greenville, served as a pastor in Greenville, organize and run church-based Boy Scouting groups, served in music in the local churches, rpresented independent contractors (from Piscataquis County) in Augusta in defense against Gov. Baldacci’s audits and unfair targeting of independent contractors, writer behind the Maine Conservative Voice and I write for InformMe.
Why are you running for office? I believe local government is the best government. Protecting our families, our local sovereignty, and our independence, should be a priority to our local government. Piscataquis has a rich heritage of hard work and common sense. I believe government officials need to have a strong dose of both qualities. I am running for office to ensure that the hard working taxpayers of Piscataquis have a reasoned and conservative voice to represent them in the areas of county and budget management.
What is the most concerning issue facing the region at this time? The most important issues in our area is understanding what it takes to attract business to Piscataquis County. The County must reign in its budgets and create/maintain a pro-business atmosphere that will, in turn, produce jobs to keep our young people and their futures secure in Piscataquis.