On the Ballot: Senate District 19, James Hamper vs. Michael McKinney

Senate District 19 — Incumbent James Hamper (R) against Michael McKinney (D). D19 towns within the BN coverage area include: Bridgton, Harrison, Naples, Sebago, Brownfield, Denmark, Fryeburg, Hiram and Otisfield.

James Hamper

Name: James Hamper

Age: 63

Party: Republican

Family: Married for 42 years, two adult chidden, four grandchildren

Education: Associates, UMA

Occupation: Residential carpenter, 45 years

Organizations: Oxford Advent Christian Church, Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce

Q.1 — What qualities would you bring to the position? The ability to see the big picture in state government.

Q.2 — How do you plan to contact/keep constituents up to date on issues? The same as always, through e-mail, phone calls and the online legislative update.

Q.3 — How can the state strengthen education? Through policy changes that ensure more funding goes into the classroom and not to administration.

Q.4 — What can be done to increase economic development at the state and local levels? Maintain a consistent level of taxation without schemes that target one group over another.

Q.5 —  There is increasing concern regarding access to healthcare. What is your concern, and what can be done at the state level? We forget that healthcare providers are businesses, privately operated. The state should keep reimbursement rates consistent and predictable.

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 sounds too good to be true, it makes promises it cannot keep. I will be voting “No.”

Q.7 — What is your position on Medicaid expansion? I am not in favor of Medicaid expansion until we have fulfilled our promises to the 1,600 people on the waitlists for services. 1,600 people with intellectual disabilities are not receiving the support services due to them and expansion will be telling them to continue to wait.

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? Keeping and attracting healthcare providers in Maine, keeping our youth in Maine, and improving our business climate. We need to maintain consistency in State government without wild fluctuations in policy, be it in taxation or regulation.

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? More treatment resources are needed in rural Maine, the bulk of monies flows to Portland, Lewiston and Bangor. My votes have been in favor of increasing treatment options for providers in the rural parts of Maine.

Q.10 — Complete the following, “The reasons I am the best candidate for the job is…” 14 years of legislative experience and the institutional knowledge that comes with that experience.

Michael McKinney

Challenger: Michael McKinney

Name: Michael McKinney

Age: 40

Political Party: Democrat

Family: My amazing wife and two beautiful daughters

Education: Suffolk University

Occupation: General Manager

Organizations: Cornish Association of Business, Knights of Columbus

Website https://www.facebook.com/mckinneyforstatesenate/:

Q.1 — What qualities would you bring to the position? In order to get anything done in Augusta, we need a senator that isn’t all about party politics. If elected I will be everyone’s senator. As a moderate, I believe I am the best option to represent District 19.

Q.2 — How do you plan to contact/keep constituents up to date on issues? I will make certain to have scheduled events throughout the district for constituents to meet with me and ask questions and address concerns. I will also utilize social media. Anyone, regardless of party or affiliation, will receive my equal attention and a timely response to any questions/comment/concerns.

Q.3 — How can the state strengthen education? We need to make sure our schools have an increase in funding and we need to make certain our teachers statewide receive a raise.

Q.4 — What can be done to increase economic development at the state and local levels? We need to make sure to give tax relief to Mainers and to support small business because they are the backbone of the Maine economy.

Q.5 — There is increasing concern regarding access to healthcare. What is your concern, and what can be done at the state level? We need to reach across the aisle to make sure Mainers have affordable coverage and protect those who have pre-existing conditions. Affordable access to healthcare for all needs to be a top priority.

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 am against Question 1.

Q.7 — What is your position on Medicaid expansion? The people of Maine voted “yes” and as your senator I will vote to expand Medicaid. We must respect the will of the people. Medicaid expansion also helps rural hospitals like Bridgton Hospital, which is Bridgton’s largest employer.

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? Education: We need to make sure our schools are properly funded and teachers’ salaries raised. We also need to explore expanding charter schools.

Healthcare: Expansion of Medicaid is vital and making sure we make healthcare affordable for everyone.

Opioid crises: We need more facilities statewide and more funding to programs.

Environment: We need to make it a priority to protect the environment, especially ensuring we have clean drinking water statewide.

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? We need more funding to open new facilities statewide. This is a crisis that will only get worse if we don’t do more.

Q.10 — Complete the following, “The reasons I am the best candidate for the job is…” because I will be everyone’s senator regardless of your party affiliation. I ask for your vote this Nov. 6. Thank you and God bless America.

Please follow and like us: