KENNEBUNK — Rep. Christopher W. Babbidge, D-Kennebunk, will be challenged for the Maine House District 8 seat by Republican Bradley S. Ducharme in a repeat of the 2016 election.

Christopher Babbidge

House District 8 represents part of Kennebunk.

Babbidge is a retired teacher and trolley guide who has served as an adviser to the annual Youth in Government Model State Legislature for 36 years. He is a member of the Kennebunk Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Kennebunk Charter Commission and was a state representative from 2004 to 2008. He was elected again in 2014 and 2016.

In Augusta, Babbidge serves on the Energy, Utilities and Technology; Environment and Natural Resources; State and Local Government; Judiciary; and the Right to Know Advisory committees.

Bradley Ducharme

Ducharme lives in Kennebunk and is the owner-operator of Shorelands Guest Resort. He also is the chief engineer, U.S. Merchant Marine with the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, and is an elected trustee for Kennebunk Light and Power.

Babbidge said he supports the right to bear arms, but some practical regulations are needed to reduce access to weapons used in mass shootings, such as background checks for gun purchases and limits on large magazines.

He said he supports expanding Medicaid, “like more than 30 red and blue states across the nation have done for their residents.”

Babbidge said the solution to luring high-paying jobs to Maine and retaining younger workers includes adequate funding for education and financial incentives for expansion of industries, such as renewable energy and biotech. “We can attract young professionals by alleviating their educational debt in return for a residency commitment in areas of need,” he said.

Ducharme said he does not believe that access to guns is a key component in school gun violence incidents and mass shootings.

Ducharme said the Legislature can do more to reduce health care costs and that the state can tax each bottle of water exported from Maine to help accomplish that. “The taxed money could be used to fund the health care costs in our state,” he said.

Ducharme said education is key for luring young workers, and that training in robotic technology in particular can prepare workers for skilled jobs.

“This will lure manufacturing back to Maine because of our youthful skilled and hardworking labor,” he said.

Ed Pierce can be contacted at 282-1535 or at:

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