In Senate District 5, which covers Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Buxton, Dayton and part of Biddeford, newcomer and Republican John Cushing is seeking to unseat longtime state Sen. Barry Hobbins, a Democrat.

John Cushing

Address: 77 Burnham Road, Saco

Occupation: Director of Marketing at Speech Pathology Assoc., LLC


Married to Mary Schiavoni

Experience: Member of both the State Republican Committee and the York County Republican Committee, ran for House Seat 134 in 2006 and member of the Knights of Columbus

Cushing is running for the state senate because he wants his values to be represented in Augusta. Those values include self-reliance and self-sufficiency and massive curtailment of state spending.

“Those in Augusta have been way too liberal with their spending. In the past 10 years the state budget has gone up by 50 percent. We have to stop that spending spree,” Cushing said.

Besides spending, the biggest issues the Legislature will face in the next session are cutting taxes and creating jobs, said Cushing, who wants to offer a 10 percent tax credit for Maine residents who graduate from the University of Maine system. The tax credit would apply to residents who agree to live and work in Maine for five years.

Cushing also said he wants to end the “unrelenting” cycle of tax increases. “Each time taxes go up, the number of jobs in Maine goes down. A sound economy requires sound tax policies.”

Cushing is committed to protecting the environment while, at the same time, promoting economic development. He said the two must go hand in hand to ensure that Maine preserves its way of life while also creating jobs.

“I want to change the dynamic in Augusta. I want to curtail spending, help small businesses grow and create sustainability,” Cushing said.

Barry Hobbins

Address: 22 Glenhaven Circle, Saco

Occupation: State senator and lawyer

Age: 57

Married to Donna M. Hobbins

Children: Three

Experience: State Senate, 1988-1990, 2004-present; House of Representatives, 1972-1984; former chairman and present board member University of Maine Foundation; Board of Trustees of the University of New England, 1988-2006; chairman of the Right to Know Advisory Committee, 2005-present; former board member Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging; chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, 1980-1984

Hobbins is running for re-election because he believes the state is at a critical juncture in terms of job creation, streamlining government and keeping taxes low. Hobbins feels he brings a unique blend of legislative, legal, business and public policy experience to these issues.

If re-elected, Hobbins said he would continue to work hard to protect and expand jobs by supporting economic initiatives, increasing educational opportunities and reducing business costs.

“I understand how to get things done in Augusta and want to continue to work for all the residents of Senate District 5. I believe I have the right experience that we need in the Maine Senate,” he said.

When asked about the biggest issues facing the state, Hobbins said, “There is an endless list of challenges that face Augusta ranging from addressing the serious budget shortfall to the need to immediately take action to ensure that there is home heating protection for Maine people.”

He said it would be necessary during the upcoming legislative session to make hard public policy spending and savings decisions in order to balance the state’s budget.

Hobbins said the Legislature should also develop a cost and review mechanism similar to what was created under Gov. Kenneth Curtis to review all government programs and develop a better approach to delivering essential services.

“Another issue that the Legislature needs to address is taking aggressive steps to become a national leader in the development, research and manufacturing of alternative energy sources,” he said.

As a member of the Utility and Energy Committee, Hobbins said he would like to take a leadership role in supporting the governor’s Task Force on Wind Power, which calls for a streamlined permitting process to allow 1,000 or more wind turbines to be developed over the next 12 years.

Other issues the Legislature will have to deal with include adequate funding for the community college system and the University of Maine System, as well as ensuring that the court system can provide access to justice for all Maine’s citizens.

Senate District 5 – Barry Hobbins – Veteran knows ‘how to get things done’Senate District 5 – John Cushing – Seeks to ‘change the dynamic’ in Augusta

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