Election ’14: State Senate District 19

RACE: STATE SENATE DISTRICT 19

James Hamper Republican

James Hamper
Republican

District Makeup: Bridgton, Brownfield, Denmark, Fryeburg, Harrison, Hiram, Naples, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, Porter, Sebago.
Candidates: D-Rose Rogers-Wells, R-James Hamper
Background/Political experience:
Rogers-Wells: Resident of Brownfield; married 34 years, mother of four grown sons, nurse for 40 years with experience in all kinds of healthcare settings from hospitals to long-term care and private duty; currently working as a Charge Nurse at Fryeburg Health Care Center where I have been for five years. My education includes BSBA Business Administration, American International College, Springfield, Mass., Paralegal Certificate, SUNY at Buffalo Millard Fillmore College, Educational Advocate for Children with Special Needs, Massachusetts Dept. of Education. I have never held a political office. I have always worked from the outside of politics to make a difference.
Hamper: Resident of Oxford; Maine House of Representatives 2004–2012, Maine Senate 2012–2014; married, 38 years to Lynn, two adult children, two grandchildren; lived in the Oxford Hills 40 years; worked in residential construction 41 years, employed 35 years at Bartow Construction of Otisfield; enjoy hunting, fishing, motorcycling and grandchildren; member of the Oxford Advent Christian Church; previous member of Oxford Planning Board and Oxford Budget Committee.
Q. Why did you become interested in seeking political office?
Rogers-Wells: I do not like the way I am being represented in Augusta and there was no one else running, so I decided to be the change I want to see happen. I am highly-suspicious of those that say they want to dismantle government and say they think that government should not create jobs, and admit they work mainly to prevent the Democratic process from being effective at solving problems. Then, they want you to give them a government job by electing them. Will you hire someone that admits they want to dismantle your business? I won’t.
Hamper: I job-shadowed Rep. Ted Heidrich 16 years ago, and that experience awakened a desire in me to seek office.
Q. What experiences (life, business, etc.) do you believe make you a strong candidate to serve area residents in Augusta?
Rogers-Wells: My awareness of politics began as a teenager growing up in the 60s. Seeing my relatives and friends come back from Viet Nam, broken, or not come back at all, made a lasting impression on me. Every generation of my family, male and female, has been in military service for all America’s wars since the Revolution, including my own son who just left the Air Force after being stationed in the Middle East. Their stories left an impression on me. I was in fifth grade when school integration began and experienced firsthand the impact on both the educational system and the neighborhoods. I have watched the declining quality of public school education for my own children while college costs spiral out of control, crippling our children’s futures before they even start their adult lives.
Working from the age of 15, I have personal experience with the inequality of treatment of women in the workplace. I have experienced the effects of all of this and much more and it has made me acutely aware of how politics affects the everyday lives of Americans. As a nurse and a businesswoman, I have years of experience working at solving problems and creating tools to improve outcomes for those I work for. I don’t make decisions about how to approach a problem based on my own beliefs, which may or may not be correct. I make assessments based on facts, define measurable goals, implement solutions and evaluate their success.
Hamper: Over the years, I have honed my organizational skills by serving on various boards and committees, along with volunteering in the community. Politics is a people game — having an ability to work with people is one of my assets.

Rose Rogers-Wells Democrat

Rose Rogers-Wells
Democrat

Q. There is always talk about politicians being able to “work both sides of the aisle” to tackle various issues. Speak specifically as to what you believe it takes to be successful in this area.
Rogers-Wells: I believe the above statement holds true in this scenario. Arguing issues based on political ideology rather than on factual research causes gridlock because people can’t agree. Defining problems in real terms, developing solutions from a clear goal and weighing the effectiveness of realistic solutions move things forward.
Hamper: In order to “work across the aisle,” you must be true to your word. Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, make no promises you cannot keep, and treat everyone fairly.
Q. What do you believe are the three major, pressing issues facing Maine and local communities, and specifically address how you would propose to address them?
Rogers-Wells: The major pressing issues according to people in my district are jobs, education, taxes, energy costs and access to affordable healthcare. These categories encompass many specific problems. The possible solutions are many, as well. One approach is to develop public and private partnerships, joining these resources toward a mutual goal. Regardless of political party, all people want the same things — good paying jobs, access to affordable healthcare, good quality affordable education that meets the needs and matches with the job market, the ability to make ends meet and raise a family in a healthy and safe environment, and the opportunity to start a business. These are things we can improve on if we stay focused and not get distracted by political differences.
Hamper: 1. Jobs. I will do as I have always done; find ways for the government to get out of the way and let businesses thrive.
2. Roads. The condition of the roads is a result of lack of funds to properly rebuild many of Maine’s highways. What is needed is a thriving economy and a priority placed on road reconstruction.
3. Welfare reform. I will continue to work with DHHS and the Administration to find ways to reform welfare, and focus on the needs of the truly needy.
Q. While campaigning, what issue seems to be at the forefront of most voters’ minds, offer some examples of comments made, and give your opinion on that subject.
Rogers-Wells: There is a general feeling that our governor is not working for the people of Maine, but has his own agenda, has wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars vetoing bills that have bipartisan support and refuses to work with anyone that may have a different point of view. His unwillingness to listen to all voters in Maine and not just the few that support his agenda is not acceptable for someone in office. He is not the CEO of a company called “Maine,” he is a public servant of the citizens of Maine.
People are also very disappointed with the problems in funding for our educational system at all levels. College costs are out of control. There is a lack of available opportunities for training for those who are not college bound. Wages in most available jobs are not adequate to support people in our economy. These are just a few and I agree with these concerns.
Hamper: Many voters want to talk about federal issues and it is always a challenge to concentrate on state issues. Many people are upset over the direction of the national government, and I share that concern.
Q. How do you plan to keep constituents up-to-date with issues that come before you?
Rogers-Wells: I have developed social media sites that are available to the tech savvy and will make use of other forms of media and personal appearances and any other ways the public would like to reach those that are not. We live in an age of constant contact capability. I intend to make use of this.
Hamper: Every week, those on my e-mail list receive an update on legislative issues. I also write a monthly article distributed in Bridgton and Fryeburg.
Q. Finally, answer the following, “I would be the best candidate for this job because…”
Rogers-Wells: I am the best candidate for this job because I have the life experience, professional experience and commitment to work to improve the lives of those I will serve. I hold a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of business, law, healthcare services and education. I know it is important to have a government that addresses the issues that matter to the people. I am a strong voice with years of experience speaking truth to power. I will listen to what my constituents want, not just push my own ideology. I will do a better job of representing the people of District 19 and make their voices heard in Augusta.
Hamper: I would be the best candidate for this job because of my experience. I have served continuously for 10 years, and with that experience comes a working knowledge of how things operate in Augusta and in the towns that I represent.

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