Two active community members with experience in local politics are hoping to become the Democratic nominee for House District 11 in Biddeford.
The seat is being vacated by Democratic Rep. Paulette Beaudoin, who cannot run again because of term limits.
David Flood, a magazine publisher and former city councilor who is active in downtown redevelopment, and Ryan Fecteau, a recent college graduate and Biddeford native who helped run marriage equality campaigns, are competing in the June 10 primary for the chance to run against Republican Debi Davis in November.
Fecteau, 21, first became involved in local politics as a high school representative to the school board. In 2011, he was a York County field organizer for Equality Maine; the following year he was rehired as a field organizer for Mainers United for Marriage. Those experiences allowed him to connect with people from many different backgrounds, he said.
Spurred by a desire to find ways to keep young Mainers from leaving the state, Fecteau launched his campaign for state representative while attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Before graduating in May, Fecteau returned to Biddeford frequently to knock on doors and meet with residents.
“If I’m going to represent Biddeford in Augusta, the way I can do that most effectively is by knowing what people are interested in,” he said. “I have a passion for representing my city and doing good for people.”
Fecteau said his priorities in Augusta would include working to find ways to get young families to stay in Maine, address high property taxes that have become a burden on seniors, and protect public education from further cuts.
Fecteau anticipated going into the campaign that some people may question his age, but he said that hasn’t been an issue.
“People seem to want someone who will bring a fresh perspective to Augusta,” he said. “I have the will to make things happen.”
Flood, 58, is a familiar face in city politics, but is making his first run for state office after being asked to do so by Beaudoin, he said. A former two-term city councilor, Flood brings with him a background in business and community development.
Flood founded Mainely Newspapers Inc. in 1989 with his wife, Carolyn, and grew the company to include six papers, 28 full-time employees and 14 part-time employees before it was sold in 2007. Since leaving the newspaper business, he has redeveloped a downtown building for mixed use and became publisher of the new Innovation Maine magazine.
“I think experience makes a difference,” Flood said. “It’s important that government is run efficiently, just as it’s important for businesses to run efficiently.”
Flood said his experience with promoting downtown development has taken him across the state, giving him contacts and insight that would be useful when working in Augusta to bring new businesses and jobs to the state. He has been a member of the Heart of Biddeford Board of Directors since the nonprofit downtown organization was founded in 2004.
Flood said his main priorities as a legislator would be to promote job growth, address residents’ concerns about property taxes and make sure the state is not making further cuts to municipal revenue sharing.
“City councilors are placed in a terrible position” because of revenue-sharing cuts, he said. “If the state reduces revenue sharing, they may have to cut something they don’t want to cut or raise taxes. They don’t have a lot of options.”
Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: