On the Ballot: House District 71, Doretta Colburn vs. Sawin Millett Jr.

House District 71 — This race features two new candidates, Doretta Colburn (D) against Sawin Millett Jr. (R). D71 towns within the BN coverage area include: Sweden and Waterford.

Doretta Colburn

Name: Doretta M. Colburn

Age: 62

Political Party: Democrat

Family: Married with three grown children, five grandchildren

Education: MDiv (Masters of Divinity) from Yale

Occupation: Farmer, former middle school science teacher, retired church pastor

Organizations: Board of Director, Waterford World’s Fair and coordinator of Little Hands for Agriculture Program during fair; Board of Trustees, Waterford Library; Life member, Waterford Historical Society; Member, McLaughlin Gardens; Life member, MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association); Member, Maine Farm Bureau; Member, National Bison Association; Member, Eastern Bison Association.

Honors: Honorary Member of Rotary International, three-time Rotary International Service Above Self Award

Website: DorettaforHouse.com

Q.1 — What qualities would you bring to the position? I possess a leadership style that brings people together by listening intently, respecting different views and always working toward seeking common ground.

Q.2 — How do you plan to contact/keep constituents up to date on issues? While a website, social media, and periodic mailings are important, I look forward to holding “Let’s Talk About It” gatherings in order to stay connected.

Q.3 — How can the state strengthen education? We need to more fully and fairly fund our schools so that our children can reach their full potential and educators can have available excellent resources to teach from, as well as better pay.

Q.4 — What can be done to increase economic development at the state and local levels? We need to encourage and welcome new businesses through incentives, as well as develop a stronger workforce. Strengthening our education system will help address that need.

Q.5 — There is increasing concern regarding access to healthcare. What is your concern, and what can be done at the state level? The United States should have a healthcare system that is accessible to everyone and not controlled by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. As a state, we need to move toward accessible and affordable healthcare.

Q.6 — What is your position on Question 1 regarding the use of tax dollars to provide home care for seniors and the disabled? I agree improved home care is needed, however I do not agree that targeting a particular tax bracket is the answer. A more thorough plan needs to be looked at and a more responsible means of funding it.

Q.7 — What is your position on Medicaid expansion? Medicaid expansion is an important need in Maine and will benefit the health of many, help address the opioid crisis and strengthen our economy.

Q.8 — What do you feel are the three main issues facing Maine today and what are your ideas/plans to address these issues if elected? Healthcare, economy, and education are looming concerns for Maine’s future. They are interrelated and thus need to be looked at collectively. Improving healthcare and enhancing our education system will attract new and younger workers thus strengthening our economy.

Q.9 — With the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses continuing to rise in Maine, what do you feel can be done to address the opioid crisis? This is a complex problem that needs to be addressed on many levels. The implementation of Medicaid expansion, development of greater resources of support, along with proactive education in schools and the medical field are part of bringing about change.

Q.10 — Complete the following, “The reasons I am the best candidate for the job is…” I am an active member of my community and a business owner. I see firsthand the challenges facing people who live and work in Maine. As one who seeks common ground for the betterment of all, I will work across the aisle to bring about positive change.

Sawin Millett Jr.

Challenger: Sawin Millett Jr.

Name: H. Sawin Millett, Jr.

Age: 80

Party: Republican

Family: Wife (Barbara), five children, 10 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren

Education: B.S. (Bates College), M.Ed. (UMO), Doctoral Study (1.5 years) - UMO

Occupation: Farmer/retired educator and government administrator

Organizations: Hospital Board Member, Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (Board President), Big E Board (Chairman of Maine Delegation), Town Meeting moderator, Mason, former selectman, Rotarian and Chamber board member

Honors: Citizen of the Year – OH Chamber and Waterford Grange; numerous other awards

Website: sawin.millett@gmail.com

Q.1 — What qualities would you bring to the position? In-depth knowledge of state government; 12 years of legislative service; cabinet level leadership serving five Maine governors.

Q.2 — How do you plan to contact/keep constituents up to date on issues? Facebook updates; columns in local newspapers; constituent mailers and regular meetings with town managers and boards of selectmen.

Q.3 — How can the state strengthen education? Greater focus on supporting teachers and students and less attention on additional state mandates; more support for programs like Jobs for Maine Graduates that encourage students to set long-term career and citizenship goals for themselves, starting at the middle school level.

Q.4 — What can be done to increase economic development at the state and local levels? Lower income tax rates; Reduce regulatory burdens on small business; Lower energy costs and promote infrastructure improvements — both transportation and technology — to better facilitate the transfer of goods, services and information.

Q.5 —  There is increasing concern regarding access to healthcare. What is your concern, and what can be done at the state level? Improving access to high quality health care at an affordable cost — for all Maine adults and children – should be among our highest statewide priorities.

Q.6 — What is your position on Question 1 regarding the use of tax dollars to provide home care for seniors and the disabled? Question 1 would impose a new tax on employers and worker to provide free health care to the elderly and disabled — regardless of income or residence — under a “shadow-government” board with no accountability to Maine taxpayers. It is a seriously flawed proposal.

Q.7 — What is your position on Medicaid expansion? It is now law and I will support its implementation provided that we are able to identify a sustainable funding mechanism that doesn’t impose an increased tax burden on working Mainers.

Q.8 — What do you feel are the three main issues facing Maine today and what are your ideas/plans to address these issues if elected? Economic development (see answer to Q. 4 above); Access to affordable and high-quality health care; Education/workforce development that entices our youth to stay in Maine and encourages young adults to move to Maine to live, work and raise their families here.

Q.9 — With the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses continuing to rise in Maine, what do you feel can be done to address the opioid crisis? A comprehensive approach that reduces access to opiate drugs, punishes those who engage in the trafficking of illegal drugs and provides treatment and recovery programs for addicted victims of opiate abuse.

Q.10 — Complete the following, “The reasons I am the best candidate for the job is…” My entire adult life has been devoted to public service and the knowledge, leadership skills and reputational integrity that I have acquired over these many years — along with my proven record of civil and respectful decision-making in a nonpartisan manner — have prepared me well for representing the citizens of House District 71 in the 129th Maine Legislature.

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