SKOWHEGAN – The four Democratic candidates competing to become Maine’s next U.S. senator say Congress is not listening to the average voter.

Maine Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, state Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, and businessman Benjamin Pollard appeared at a forum Sunday night at the Steelworkers Union Hall in Skowhegan.

About 60 people listened to the candidates answer questions on topics ranging from personal strengths to stances on health care and partisan politics.

The candidates agreed that the federal government has to do more to limit the election influence of wealthy and powerful citizens and corporations.

“Multinational businesses have the biggest voice, and the rules end up rigged against the ordinary American,” Hinck said.

Dunlap said government didn’t listen to people’s stories about health care costs bankrupting families when debating the recent reform.

Dill said she supports public infrastructure investments instead of the push toward private ownership of projects, such as recent proposals looking at private firms owning an east-west highway in Maine.

Pollard said he supports public investments in rail and other projects.

The candidates also said the federal government can do more to find common ground, saying the partisan politics have further disenfranchised voters.

Dill said she supports repealing the filibuster rule in the Senate, which the parties use to stall legislation. She said the rule is responsible for the federal government’s inability to address problems like those in the health care system.

Dunlap said he would isolate members of Congress who are unwilling to compromise and would work with those who want to solve problems. “The tea party is not in the mood to cooperate,” he said.

Although he described himself as being on the far left of the Democratic Party, Hinck said he has a record of crossing the aisle to get legislation passed.

Pollard said the federal government needs more representatives who don’t vote strictly along party lines. He said he supports strong national defense and a smaller federal government while also backing environmental protection and social programs that benefit the middle class.

The Democratic Senate primary is June 12.