Dillon Bates (D)

Age: 26

Address: 47 Garfield St. Apt. 1, Westbrook

Occupation: Education director at Schoolhouse Arts Center.

Political experience: Elected delegate three times to the state convention.

Q: How do you plan to make a difference for your communities if elected to the Legislature? Be specific.

A: If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I hope to make a difference for Westbrook in many ways, but it starts with education.

I was raised in a family of educators and received a great education in our Maine public schools. By helping students to think critically, listen to a variety of ideas, and work together, we can ensure they have the skills needed to succeed and contribute to their families and towns. I hope to empower and support the students and teachers of the Westbrook School Department, and continue to improve upon the strong work that many in the school system are already doing. I’d also like to equip young people politically, and get the youth of Westbrook invested and involved in the future of our city.

Additionally, I would do everything in my power to help Westbrook’s power and standing in the state at large. This means everything from protecting our jobs and small businesses to our natural resources. All of these things help make our community the gem that it is, and we need to be responsible stewards for our city and state.

Emily Downing (R)

Age: 22

Address: 882 Bridgton Road, Westbrook

Occupation: Student

Political experience: Intern, Matt Mattingly State House campaign 2012; volunteer, LePage campaign 2010; volunteer, Jon Courtney campaign, 2008; 2014 Maine Model United Nations Secretariat; member of the Westbrook Republican Committee; volunteer on various referendums.

Q: How do you plan to make a difference for your communities if elected to the Legislature? Be specific.

A: My biggest focus in my campaign is keeping our younger generations here and bringing in new, young families to rejuvenate our state. Last year after living in the city for some time, my fiance? and I were able to purchase our first home in Westbrook. This is something that is not often seen with the younger people here in our state. I want to show my generation and the ones to come that success is possible here. So how do we do that?

The first step is job creation. By focusing on creating new jobs, we create new opportunities for those stepping into the work force for the first time and those who have been searching for a while. We offer them solid jobs in their home state so that they don’t have to leave in search of better options elsewhere. This can be achieved by tapping into resources that have gone unused in the state. We need to be open to new ideas that may have been glossed over in the past. Take Westbrook as an example. We have seen Main Street thrive with new businesses coming in year after year. We’ve had international companies such as Idexx Laboratories decide to put their headquarters in our city. Husson University unveiled its newest campus in Westbrook earlier this year. Westbrook has a “pro-business” attitude that is constantly attracting these new businesses to set up shop.

The second step in this process is to create a more sustainable economy. Through constant work by our City Council here in Westbrook and smart fiscal decisions by our governor, our city and state has started to turn itself around. We need to keep on this track toward a more sound future for Maine. This means investing in a candidate who will make those tough decisions.

Lastly, we need to invest in Maine’s future – our children. Good education is key to the success in our state. Here in Westbrook we have top-notch educators, working hard to ensure our children receive the best schooling possible. We see that success highlighted in Principal Matt Nelson winning the 2014 Maine’s Middle School Principal of the Year Award. It is our responsibility to make sure that our educators have what they need to effectively do their job while at the same time making sure we are doing what’s best for our children.

Dillon Bates (D)Emily Downing (R)

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