Stan Gerzofsky (D)

Age: 69

Address: 3 Federal St., Brunswick

Occupation: Furniture maker

Political experience: Eight years, Maine House of Representatives; six years, state Senate

Q: How do you plan to make a difference for your communities if electe to the Legislature?

A: I have served in the Maine Senate since 2000, representing the people of Brunswick, Harpswell, Freeport and Pownal. Due to redistricting, I am pleased that North Yarmouth is now a part of my district. I am a proud Democrat and have spent my time in office working hard every day to create local private sector jobs, promote strong stewardship of our state’s environmental resources, support a quality education for our children and to protect those people who most need our help. In short, I have a record of accomplishment. I have helped pass aggressive state incentives for small businesses, strongly supported our educational system and worked with area schools to adapt to school district consolidation. I have worked to support our working waterfronts, reduce county taxes through jail consolidation and create new protections for victims of domestic violence. And, I have helped the region not only survive the closing of the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, but to thrive by using those resources to open a new campus of Southern Maine Community College and as home to dozens of small and mid-sized businesses on the base. Using a creative, team approach, we have been able to also get the Navy to turn over hundreds of acres of that land for environmental preservation.

While you and I may not know one another, I think those whom I have represented will say that I have served them well. We may not always agree, but I am always accessible and willing to listen to all sides of an issue. I am straightforward and I would like to think that even those with whom I disagree know that I can disagree without being disagreeable. I have very strong beliefs of my own, but a stronger commitment to hearing all sides before making up my mind. I am a Democrat, but I represent all the people within my district and keep that in mind as we consider each issue. In order to best represent you, I feel it important that we meet and discuss the issues that matter to you and your family. That is why in my time in public office, I have always held weekly office hours throughout my district. Being a member of the Maine House of Representatives and then the state Senate has been an honor and a privilege.

K. Frederick Horch (G)

Age: 44

Address: 44 Pleasant St., Brunswick

Occupation: Owner of Spark Applied Efficiency

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for Maine House of Representatives in 2010 and 2012; served on board of local neighborhood association, nonprofit organizations, and steering committee of the Maine Green Independent Party.

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

A: I will introduce new legislation for economic security, a healthy environment, and a less partisan political system. I will answer questions and solve problems that my constituents bring to me. As a Green Independent in the Senate, I will be the swing vote, a deal-maker, and a neutral party amid the partisan squabbling. I will work diligently with whichever party wins a majority. Special interest groups and wealthy individuals dominate today’s Democrat and Republican parties. Despite that serious problem, some good ideas are still possible to advance with bipartisan support. I will ensure that proposed laws are good for our communities, not just good for the special-interest groups that buy influence among Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats have good ideas for protecting our environment and civil rights for certain groups. Republicans have good ideas for reducing taxes and promoting civil rights for other groups. Neither party has good ideas for economic development, judging from the performance of Maine’s trades economy. I will introduce legislation to create a Maine Permanent Fund to provide capital for small business growth and a guaranteed dividend to every Maine family. A state permanent fund is managed like a pension fund or a mutual fund, with every resident owning an equal share and receiving an equal dividend. A Maine Permanent Fund is an efficient and effective way to reform welfare while promoting and sustaining economic growth. To protect our communities, I will introduce legislation to create a solar grid for clean, affordable energy in Maine for efficient electric space heating and transportation. Cumberland County has poor air quality due to burning fossil fuel; the American Lung Association reports that breathing our air triggers asthma attacks among children. Individuals and businesses alone cannot solve this serious problem; we need our elected leaders to consider the root cause.

I am running to give voters in our communities a meaningful choice on their ballot. Unfortunately, many voters will be terrified of splitting the vote. I will introduce legislation to give voters the right to choose more than one candidate on their ballots for state elections. This will break the monopoly that the Democrats and Republicans have on access to elected office.

To sum up, I plan to introduce new ideas on the floor of the Senate and work as hard as possible for long-term solutions to real problems. Beyond my own ideas, I will carefully listen to ideas and concerns my constituents share with me. Knowing the trials and temptations that are unavoidable running as a Democrat or a Republican, I have chosen to run as a Green Independent so I can honestly say that I will treat everyone with the same consideration and respect, regardless of political views.

Jennifer Johnson (R)

Age: 50

Address: Wadsworth Road, Brunswick

Occupation: Business owner

Political experience: None

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

A: As co-owner of Johnson’s Sporting Goods in Brunswick, Rockland and Portland, established by my parents in 1968, I see and face the everyday challenges of running a small business. That includes making payroll, paying taxes and providing health benefits for our employees. Maine has got to be more business friendly so that more people are employed by the smaller companies.

I am raising two boys as a single parent. I have a hearing-impaired child and know what it is like to be denied coverage for hearing aids as it is a “genetic,” not a medical issue. So I had to find a way to make sure he had hearing aids with no help from insurances. I still have one child in school and know that education is very important. We need to make sure that the kids are getting the best education.

I was born and raised in Maine, moving away in my mid-20s for four years. Home is where the heart is, and mine is in Maine. I have deep roots here and will always remember that Mainers are the hardest workers around but we should not have to work harder to break even. We should be able to work harder to be able to put money away for that rainy day. I have direct ties to the fishing communities. Whether you’re a lobsterman, clammer or worm digger, they are all trying to make a living and we have to find a way for all to work together to do just that.

In the end my biggest plan to help Mainers is to look at all the taxing. If we tighten our belts at home, then so should government. We can no longer fix a problem with a new tax or rob from Peter to pay Paul. I am just an everyday person who has had enough. I was raised that if someone says it can’t be done, I will say “it can.” Where there is a will there is always a way. I thank my parents every day for giving me my strong will.

Stan Gerzofsky (D)K. Frederick Horch (G)Jennifer Johnson (R)

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