SOUTH PORTLAND — State Rep. Anne Carney, former city councilor Eben Rose and Sari Greene, a member of the county Democratic Committee, are all seeking the Democratic nomination for the District 29 state Senate seat that covers Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and Higgins Beach in Scarborough.

The post is now held by Rebecca Millett, who will term out at the end the year. Primary voting is July 14.

Anne Carney

Carney said she supported Gov. Janet Mills’ efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and noted steps she took with the Maine Legislature, such as creating a loan program and expanding unemployment eligibility. She said she could see the pandemic’s economic impact on Mainers and wants the government to do more to help.

“We’re all worried about the economic impact of the pandemic on our personal finances and on Maine’s economy, and about the health risks of reopening,” she said. “I think the administration has prepared Maine to reopen safely by monitoring outbreaks, vastly increasing testing capacity and creating a contact-tracing program. As I talk with members of our community, I hear strong support for how Maine has handled the pandemic.”

Carney cited her legal work as a valuable background for her political career and said she plans to build on her successes in the House when elected to the Senate, noting bills she has passed expanding healthcare coverage, job accommodations for pregnant workers, paid time off and leave for veterans. She also mentioned work to establish environment law aimed at oil terminals and tanks in South Portland.

“Being a lawyer and lawmaker has given me the powerful tools we Mainers need as we work to recover from the pandemic, eradicate systemic racism and to save our planet,” Carney said.

Sari Greene

Greene credited Mills with “swift action that saved people’s lives” during the pandemic, but noted that massive job losses and other related economic issues show much more work needs to be done to preserve Mainers’ livelihoods as well as their health. Greene promised to fight for fair distribution of federal aid, better coordinated planning and assistance to state agencies to help deal with the pandemic and its economic impacts.

“As we move through this pandemic, we need to recognize and acknowledge the hardship, respond strategically and prepare for the possibility of additional waves,” she said. “We need to put our Democratic values front and center by focusing on access to health care, quality public education, economic opportunity and ensuring that the promised safety net is intact.”

Greene also said recent racial tensions nationwide point to a need to work to address racism here in Maine.

“To root out systemic racism, we must commit to examining every existing law, policy and practice at all levels of government,” she said. “I support Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross’ proposed rule that no bill can pass in state government unless it goes through a racial impact analysis, similar to a fiscal one, to show that it won’t create any additional racial disparities.”

Eben Rose

Rose, a small business owner and former South Portland city councilor, acknowledged the extreme economic difficulties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, but praised the response of Mills and the state government, referring to the oft-used expression “the hammer and the dance,” meaning the lockdown and the plan for reopening the state’s business, respectively.

“The suffering and loss of economic stability that untold tens of thousands, including my own family, are experiencing across the state is not the fault of Gov. Mills’ version of ‘the hammer and the dance,'” he said. “It is the fault of years of public policy decision making that have built an economy that requires risks to be absorbed by those who may have no choice in the matter. It doesn’t have to be this way and I advocate for policies that will change it.”

More broadly, Rose described the pandemic as a predictable consequence of climate change and cited predictions that the planet has 30 years to do something to stop it “if we are to realize sustainability, equitability and lasting justice within a limited ecosystem.” He also noted the anger and protests going on regarding racism and said it was due to “a system that allows racism and police brutality to exist in the first place,” and said the system pursues material wealth at the expense of natural resources.

“The world we want in 30 years will have to look very different than this world in how we relate to nature, in how we measure prosperity and in how we treat each other,” Rose said. “I believe that leadership listens to these voices of revolution and that responds to them with a vision for that better world and lays out a set of achievable stepping stones that set us up for the next step and the next on the path to that better world.”

Comments are not available on this story.