KENNEBUNK — Republican Roger Seavey of Cape Porpoise, part of Kennebunkport, and Democrat Diane Denk of Kennebunk will go head-to-head to see who will be the new representative for House District 9.

House District 9 includes part of Biddeford and Kennebunk as well as Kennebunkport. Current HD 9 Representative Stedman Seavey will not run for reelection.

Roger Seavey retired from the Maine Turnpike in 2012. Currently, he is employed at Bradbury Bros. Market in Kennebunkport where he lives with his wife and daughter.

Roger Seavey

Roger Seavey’s political experience includes working as a county coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign in 2012, he is the former chairman of the Kennebunkport Republican Town Committee, and he assisted Rep. Stedman Seavey in his many campaigns for the Legislature.

Regarding school gun violence incidents and mass shootings, Roger Seavey said in a candidate survey, “I do not believe that guns are the problem. The guns are a convenient scapegoat used to cover up a problem no one wants to deal with. Mental illness and the psychotropic drugs used to treat it are the real problem. Many of these drugs are prone to causing violent behavior. Gun-free zones are not the answer either. In a gun-free zone the mass killer is the only one with a gun.?”

About rising health care costs, he said, “people should be able to shop across state lines. Competition will help drive down the costs. Also people should be able to tailor their policies to suit their particular needs. We also need to work on passing a new PBM (pharmacy benefits managers) law that will pass legal muster in the courts. This will help lower prescription costs that greatly affect our elderly and low-income citizens.”

To lure high paying jobs to Maine and retain younger workers to work, Seavey said, “assist our technical schools in developing training programs in the growing (of) hi-tech industries. (Offer) tax breaks to help make it affordable to move here and set up shop. We need to do more to promote affordable housing. Here in Kennebunkport, town employees cannot afford to buy a home as the cost of buying property here in town has outpaced their income.”

Seavey said voters should elect him because “I am a person who is able to listen to both sides of an issue and not be offended when someone disagrees with my viewpoint. I believe that to govern efficiently we need to find common ground and we can work our way out from there. Having been a supervisor with the Maine Turnpike Authority for over 12 years and working as a union steward, I feel I have the experience to go to Augusta and foster an atmosphere of cooperation. If elected, I will be representing the interests of my constituents not any party.”

Diane Denk is a teacher and tutor whose political experience includes being Maine’s Democratic National committeewoman; a board member of The Center for Seniors, Kennebunk; a member of the Maine Democratic Committee; chair of York County Democrats; and chair of Democrats of the Kennebunks and Arundel. She is a two-time presidential elector, was a delegate to Democratic National Convention three times and was a former secretary of the NAACP.

Diane Denk

Regarding gun violence, Denk said, “the easy access with which anyone of any criminal background or any level of mental stability can obtain firearms is a large contributor to gun violence.” She said she her friend’s son was murdered during a robbery by someone who bought a gun immediately after being released from jail. There must be safeguards to prevent criminals and the mentally from buying guns but allow gun access to hunters and collectors who are respectful owners. “Let’s care for our children and our citizens by ensuring we can live in safety without fear of shootouts in public venues or even in our own homes,” she said.

Regarding health care, she said, “much of the rising cost of health care the state must bear is due to those who are uninsured and cannot afford routine wellness and diagnostic treatment for initial symptoms and problems. These people seek treatment in the ER and Urgent Care and the costs are much higher. As a Medicare recipient, I was recently given a full wellness visit by a nurse practitioner who identified a few minor issues and made solid recommendations to prevent future costly treatment. Ensuring all Mainers would actually lower those costs which can go into six figures. The outrageous cost of pharmaceuticals is another area which could be negotiated and lowered.”

To lure high paying jobs to Maine and retain younger workers, Denk said, “as I teacher, I believe the role of commerce and industry is closely intertwined with education. Students should be afforded many opportunities such as apprenticeships, work-study, and other methods of exposure prior to graduation from high school and not after attending expensive universities or training programs. Many states initiate tax incentives to attract large businesses and even provide refurbished locations to get started. Some have even granted universities the power to offer their own tax breaks … Another method of growing corporations is through Green Tariffs which offer sustainability or renewable energy incentives. Maine is ideally suited to do this through wind, solar, and off-shore hydropower.”

Denk said she should be elected because “I have always cared deeply about my community and about my country. I have always looked out for the ‘little guy,’ the person who struggles, who is homeless, who is hungry, who is mentally challenged, who is old, who is dying. For over 50 years, I have visited people in mental institutions, people who cannot buy food, people who are at the end of their lives, and people who are not receiving fair treatment due to the color of their skin, their national origins, or their sexual identities. I willingly take on the tough chores, the leadership roles, and those jobs which are thankless and often unrecognized. … I grew up in a bipartisan household with strong Democratic parents and a good GOP grandmother. We all had respectful interactions and found common ground. I believe I can work well with those of other parties in finding solutions which will help Mainers. I further believe I can learn and grow and help Maine become a stronger state which attracts businesses, research and development, and exciting, innovative people.”

— Associate Editor Dina Mendros can be contacted at 780-9014, or [email protected]

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