HARPSWELL — To secure a fourth term representing state House District 51, Rep. Joyce “Jay” McCreight, D-Harpswell, must fend off a challenge from Republican and fellow Harpswell resident Steve “Bubba” Davis.

Both candidates for the seat – which includes Harpswell, West Bath and part of Brunswick – discussed Maine’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as other issues they would like to tackle if elected. Election Day is Nov. 3.

Steve “Bubba” Davis

Davis is particularly concerned about anxiety and depression among youths as a result of the pandemic.

“I’m all about ‘let them play’ (sports),” he said, but “there needs to be a lot of plain common sense with exposing yourself to people,” as well as courtesy in terms of wearing protective masks and keeping safe distances.

Davis said he advocates “home-grown jobs,” noting that many students don’t want to attend college and could instead attend vocational school and learn a trade, “whether it be pipe fitting, electrical, carpentry, (being a) fisherman, whatever you want to do; something that inspires you in your life.”

“There’s a need for these trades or someone that knows these trades,” said Davis, who sees those occupations as one way of keeping Maine’s youth from having to leave the state in search of better-paying jobs.

Joyce “Jay” McCreight

McCreight said she hopes the Legislature will reconvene for a special session in order to “address some really critical bills” concerning issues like access to behavioral health care – a response to spikes in anxiety and depression during the pandemic. Lawmakers also need to tackle the nuances of how CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) funding can and should be spent, she said.

Even after a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Maine will still be dealing with the mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic, McCreight said.

“We were in tremendous (economic) shape when we left in March and the world turned upside down,” she said.

The issue of expanding high-speed internet for remote work and learning has become that much more prevalent as adults and children have been forced to do both from home and broadened access to those services is important, she noted. McCreight added that Maine has “a lot of work left to do” in continuing the battle against the opioid epidemic, and she supports a greater focus on career and technical education.

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