Democrat Bonita Breault of Buxton wants to reclaim her seat in Augusta after being defeated two years ago by Don Marean.

Breault, 56, hopes to wrest the House District 131 seat from Marean, a Republican. She previously served as a representative to the Legislature from the former House District 14. District 131 includes part of Buxton and Hollis.

Not idle during the past two years, Breault, a Bonny Eagle High School graduate in 1968, has continued her education. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in leadership and organization studies at the Lewiston campus of the University of Southern Maine. Now, she is seeking a master’s degree at the university.

“People should never feel they’re to old to go back to school,” said Breault, who was awarded a degree at 55.

She’s working as a senior planner for company called A Place for Mom, based in Seattle, Wash. She assists families that need to locate retirement homes, elderly care facilities or Alzheimer’s units for loved ones. “I love that population,” she said. “It’s an honor to work with their families.”

If elected, Breault, a member of Maine Council of Senior Citizens, said she would work to help reduce property taxes for the elderly. She would support freezing taxes for seniors. “I would like seniors to stay in their homes as long as they can,” she said, explaining it’s the most compassionate and cost effective.

Breault believes that tax reform is a continued need and more tax relief is needed for other property owners, too. She said LD 1 hasn’t gone far enough. “We started addressing it and we need to do more,” she said.

She opposes the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. “I don’t think it’s the answer,” she said.

As a former legislator on the Insurance and Financial Service Committee, Breault helped develop the Dirigo Choice health-insurance plan. The founding president of Leavitt Mills Health Clinic in Buxton, she feels the plan needs more work because it’s too expensive for some people and more people need to be enrolled.

She said businesspeople in her district told her it’s too costly. She would study Dirigo to see “how it needs to change.”

In issues since she has been in Legislature, she would have supported an equal rights bill. She also would have favored a measure that would have allowed firefighters and police officers to buy into health care after they retired.

“If they put their life on the line for 20 years, they deserve our support to find an avenue to have health insurance until they reach Medicare age,” she said. “We’re not a throwaway society.”

An education advocate, Breault would like to see merit pay to reward worthy schoolteachers. She wants incentives to encourage qualified individuals to enter the teaching profession. “It shouldn’t be just about being there,” she said, stressing the importance of dedication and quality.

“Every legislator should be required to teach for a week,” she said, so they could acquire a better perspective of what teachers do.

Breault, who lives on Whispering Pines Drive, is divorced. She has two children and three grandchildren.

Cutline (Bonita Breault)

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