HOLLIS — Republican Donald Marean is seeking a fifth term representing House District 16 and is facing a challenge from Democrat newcomer David Durrell.

Marean, who is retired and lives in Hollis, says his experience and willingness to reach across the aisle in Augusta for compromise in passing legislation deserves a look from voters. His record shows he does do that. Earlier this year, he was part of a bipartisan group of sponsors of a bill establishing the Victim’s Compensation Fund to assist families who have lost loved ones or suffered as a result of violent acts and was signed into law in March.

He said that he’s the right choice in this election to return to the Maine House once again.

“My longevity and experience is a huge asset to this task. My voting record clearly shows my votes are made for the people and not the party,” Marean said. “The art of compromise and bipartisanship are extremely helpful in moving Maine forward.”

Durrell owns a small business in Buxton and lives in Hollis and says his business savvy will be helpful to House District 16, which encompasses part of Buxton, Hollis and part of Saco, if he is elected.

“I have 25 years experience running a local business and working in the regional economy,” Durrell said. “I can work to achieve a goal while compromising to ensure that all parties gain satisfaction.  In today’s hyper-partisan political environment we need that skill set to come together and get things done.”

Donald Marean

Both candidates have strong opinions about whether access to guns is a key component in school gun violence incidents and mass shootings and what should be done about it here in Maine.

Marean said it’s debatable that access to guns is a leading factor in school gun violence and said he believes common-sense applications and discussions at home can prevent mass school shootings.

Durrell said that the safety of children is our most sacred responsibility, as parents, and as a society.

“School gun violence is unacceptable. I am a gun owner, and I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe in responsible gun ownership,” he said. “Reasonable regulation for juveniles regarding purchase and use of guns needs to be looked at and implemented.  The president called for age limits on purchase of firearms, and in that he is right.

“Furthermore, kids should always be taught responsible use of firearms. Controlled access into schools for the general public is important, but the idea of arming teachers is simplistic and even dangerous,” Durrell said. “We need to utilize the resource officers, control public access and prevent children’s access to guns from school, a task for which parental responsibility is also critical.”

To the question of how Maine should best address rising health care costs and how it affects the state, each candidate offered differing opinions.

“Make available to all pre-health screenings and preventative care,” Marean said.

David Durrell

Durrell said he advocates allowing companies to join forces with larger insured groups.

“Enact the Medicaid expansion we voted for to bring a 10 to one return on our dollars and help support our hospitals, bring in jobs, and insure more people,” he said. “Preventive care emphasis and health awareness in schools, for a start.”

Both candidates expressed their viewpoints about creating a plan to lure high paying jobs to Maine and retain younger workers to work here in the state.

“A big concern right now is attracting workers and training our kids and workers so that they can take on some of the jobs that are available right now. Our economic output is now reduced because we don’t have enough trained people for some of the jobs we have in health care, the trades and even manufacturing,” Durrell said. “Wage pressure is increasing, which will help, but we must also expand our educational opportunities to align with some of the job opportunities that now go begging.”

He said that both vocational training and worker training should receive more emphasis in Maine.

“We should also be focusing on helping small business and entrepreneurs on the front end, when businesses are getting off the ground, rather than rewarding us with tax breaks after the business is established and successful,” Durrell said. “This will create more jobs. Of course infrastructure improvements to things like roads and broadband are important.”

Marean said simple solutions can be found to create more jobs in the state and retain young people to fill jobs locally.

“Our community colleges can provide an avenue for that with more job ready training,” Marean said. “Bring back shop instruction to our high schools to provide other choices to our students.”

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 or by email at [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: