Martha Poliquin of Lisbon is running as a Democrat for state Senate District 22. Contributed photo

LISBON — Lisbon Democrat Martha Poliquin has announced she is running for the state Senate District 22 seat.

Poliquin will face the Republican incumbent Jeffrey Timberlake of Turner, who is seeking reelection after serving his first term in the Senate. The district includes Lisbon, Durham, Sabattus, Litchfield, Leeds, Wales, Greene, Wayne and Turner.

Two years ago, Poliquin ran for House District 56  to represent Lisbon against Republican Rick Mason. Mason won his bid for reelection 2,385 votes to 1,554.

“I continue to want to serve my community and even a larger area of the community and thought that the senate seat might be a good fit for me to run for,” Poliquin said Tuesday. “It’s time for a change in representation in that senate seat, and I feel I’m the better candidate.”

She pointed to property tax relief as one of the main issues to address if elected. It was one of the main concerns she heard from residents as she campaigned in 2018. She spoke in favor of Gov. Janet Mills’ budget, which increases revenue sharing by $75 million to help municipalities stem property tax increases.

Poliquin works as a school nutrition director for Falmouth School Department. She previously served as the Lisbon School Committee chairwoman.

Affordable health insurance and senior care will be important issues in Maine, an aging state, she said.

“Having my 98-year-old father live with us is a front-row seat to what’s happening as we’re aging, with the desire to stay in our homes, to be with family and to have some affordable health care services in our home,” she said.

While Poliquin said she is fortunate she can support her father, “not every family can do that.”

She said the state is being more reactive than proactive when it comes to helping seniors stay in their homes. She pointed to Home Care for Maine, a Farmingdale-based in-home care services provider for 600 clients. The agency is closing because the MaineCare reimbursement rate hasn’t been increased to compensate for the hike in the state minimum wage.

The cost of health insurance is another problem, she said.

“I believe health insurance is probably going to continue to be an important issue and any way that we can make health insurance more affordable, more accessible and make sure there are pieces in place,” she said, “so that regardless what happens at a federal level, we’ve got some good secure measures in health care here in Maine.”

The environment, climate change and renewable energy are also going to be big conversational topics, as well as public education funding.

“I’m just really excited,” she said. “I’m very optimistic and really excited to knock on doors and hear what issues are important in the other eight communities I haven’t entirely met yet.”

 

 

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