BRUNSWICK — Stan Gerzofsky and Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, both Democrats with extensive political experience in Augusta, are vying for their party’s nod in the July 14 state Senate District 24 primary.

The winner will face Republican Bradford Pattershall this fall for the seat now occupied by Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, who is retiring after two terms in Augusta.

Carson replaced Gerzofsky in that role upon his 2016 election. Gerzofsky spent 2008-16 representing District 24; before that he represented Brunswick in the state House of Representatives from 2000-08.

Daughtry was first elected to House District 49 in 2012 and is termed out after four terms.

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

Both candidates spoke on Maine’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the gradual reopening of the state’s economy, as well as a particular issue they would like to address upon a return to Augusta.

Matthea Daughtry

The approach the state has taken regarding COVID-19 so far “has been smart and measured, even though it’s hard for myself as a business owner in a community where we’re not allowed to reopen yet fully,” Daughtry said.

“We just have to take the best practices individually and sort of think of this as the community and common good approach, and just recognize that even as we’re reopening, we also have to take these same safety measures to make sure that no matter what happens, we’re prepared to think on our feet and be creative.”

Daughtry ran initially for the House because of her passion about reversing student debt for Mainers and ensuring that education was “affordable and accessible for all students, regardless of their zip code.”

She’s seen Maine make some progress on climate change during her four House terms, “but right now it’s climate crisis and it’s not something we can sit idly by” or push off, she said.

Boosting the economy and making Maine a competitive 21st century workplace are other issues of concern to Daughtry, “but it’s different now” with the pandemic, she said. “We have to hit the ground running when the next Legislature comes back in and also we need to make sure that we’re not just trying to use Band-Aids that we’ve tried to use in the past. This is unlike anything that’s happened to our state in the past 100 years and we need creative solutions; we need to see what fits.”

Stan Gerzofsky

Gerzofksy said he favors getting the state reopened and that “we need to get people working again … and get our institutions open again.”

He aims to ensure that health care providers and first responders have the financial and social resources they need to keep District 24 residents healthy and to provide those supports in helping the district’s people and residents survive economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

Gerzofsky wants to get local students and teachers back in school as safely as possible, saying “that’s where we’ve got to really get started. I think that our schools are probably up to the challenge.”

Gerzofsky – who played a key role in the redevelopment of Brunswick Landing and Brunswick Executive Airport and brought a Southern Maine Community College campus to Brunswick – said he wants to work to allow all Mainers to have a quality education.

He also aims to make sure that every District 24 resident has access to affordable and quality health care.

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