PORTLAND – George Vincent Jr., a former state representative, is challenging incumbent state Rep. Peter Stuckey for the Democratic nomination in the June 8 primary race for the District 114 House seat.

The district includes the North Deering and East Deering neighborhoods, as well as Peaks, Great Diamond, Little Diamond, Cliff and the city’s other islands in Casco Bay.

Stuckey, 63, is a retired social services administrator who works part-time as a toll collector on the Maine Turnpike.

Stuckey described his first term in the Legislature as stimulating but humbling, especially when it came to cutting the state budget.

Stuckey backed programs to promote home weatherization and alternative energy generation and supported marriage equality legislation that was overturned last year in a state referendum.

He also backed health care reforms that made sure insurance companies can’t withhold coverage for pre-existing conditions or impose lifetime caps on benefits.

“We need to get more people insured,” Stuckey said. “We still have too many people, especially children, who don’t have access to adequate health care, especially preventive care.”

Stuckey said Maine doesn’t invest enough on the front end of many things, especially dental care.

Stuckey said he wants to spend more on preventive programs, such as road resurfacing, so neglected highways won’t have to be completely rebuilt in the future, and supporting strong families as the basis for a strong nation.

Vincent, 66, is a semi-retired flooring contractor who served three terms in Maine House in the late 1960s, when he sponsored legislation that started the Maine Housing Authority, and the early 1970s and 1980s.

Vincent said he’s running again because he wants to be back in the thick of things at the State House.

“I miss it and I have a lot of time on my hands,” he said.

Vincent predicted that the Legislature’s work in the next term will continue to be mostly about the budget. He said he plans to focus on unnecessary state spending, noting that many programs have already been cut or reduced.

“But I’m sure I could find something. I always did,” Vincent said. “A lot of what’s gotten us into this situation is frivolous stuff.”

State government spends thousands of dollars on bottled water when “there’s nothing wrong with the water coming out of the faucet,” he said.

Vincent said he would support future efforts for marriage equality and plans to promote the lobster industry, but he understands the limits of individual legislators.

“I’ve been there before,” Vincent said. “No one person’s going to have much say. It’s about keeping an eye on things.”

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]