Rep. Mattie Daughtry Photo Courtesy of Mattie Daughtry

BRUNSWICK — Brunswick state Rep. Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry announced Friday that she will run for the Senate District 24 seat currently held by Brownie Carson, who is retiring. 

District 24 includes Brunswick, Freeport, Harpswell, North Yarmouth and Pownal. 

“I am running because we have work that remains unfinished,” Daughtry said in a press release.

My work on student debt, combating climate change, fully funding our education system, and growing our local food economy is not done. I’m ready to take my experience to the State Senate,” she wrote in her announcement. 

Carson announced his legislative retirement in December after serving two terms in the senate. 

Our state is in capable hands, and I have every confidence that voters will find the right person to represent this district,” Carson wrote in a letter to The Times Record at the time. 

Daughtry, 32, is hoping that she is that “right person.” 

Daughtry has filled the District 49 (Brunswick) Maine House of Representatives seat for the past eight years and is the co-owner of Brunswick’s Moderation Brewing. 

“This is not something I ever thought I’d be doing,” she said in a phone interview on Friday. “Being this age and being a young woman has definitely informed a lot of my decisions and helped me find my own way. I think my age group and other young people have a lot to add to the dialogue.”

She said it’s important to have “age diversity” in the legislature, with seasoned veterans and people just starting out. 

Education, climate and workforce development remain major political focuses for Daughtry, who drafted legislation to reduce student debt and attract more young people to Maine. 

“We’ve made strides in improving our schools, but we are nowhere near full and equitable funding or fair pay for our teachers,” she said.

Maine has a low unemployment rate, but coupled with a low birth rate and an aging population, the state is experiencing “a real workforce crisis.” 

“There are not enough skilled workforce to meet our needs,” she said, which is why it is important to attract more young families to Maine — another reason student debt relief is a priority. 

Another focus is climate change. 

“It’s crucial that we tackle climate change head-on,” she said in the release, “and pave the way as a leader for other states and communities.” 

Maine needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, continue to reduce the prevalence of harmful chemicals and incentivize energy efficiency for both individuals and businesses, she said. 

Daughtry said she is not yet sure how, if elected, her approach may differ from Carson’s. 

“Brownie has done an incredible job, he has a lifetime of experience and his voice will be sorely missed in the state senate,” she said. “We’re both passionate people who care deeply about the district and the state.” 

The same goes for everyone in the legislature, she said. “We all want to make it the best place, we just might not agree on how to get there.” 

But despite what Daughtry calls Maine’s “enviable strengths” (its oceans, woods, farms, arts, colleges, food and natural grit), “I have seen our state struggle to get ahead,” she wrote. “Where we should lead as a state we too often miss our opportunities and fall behind. We have all seen it. I know we can do better. We are poised, not to put forward progressive or conservative ideas, but to work together to make a difference for all Mainers.”

Daughtry is kicking off her campaign at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Moderation Brewing, 103 Maine St. 

This story has been updated to correct Brownie Carson’s status. He announced his retirement in December but will complete his term. 

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