Candidate will represent ‘health care interests’

To the editor,

As a registered nurse I have seen the benefits in our community of improved access to health care. We have an opportunity to continue this trend by electing Traci Gere to the Maine House 9 seat in Kennebunkport and coastal Kennebunk and Biddeford.

Traci Gere will work to achieve these attainable goals:

• Increase access to low-cost prescription drugs;

• Expand coverage for preventive care;

• Invest in public health and front-line health care workers;

• Ensure that doctors and nurses have the resources to treat their patients.

Please join me in sending Traci Gere to Augusta to represent our health care interests well.

Loreta Vallar McDonnell


Candidate is ‘experienced leader’

To the editor,

As a four-term senator representing District 34 (Acton, Kennebunk, Lebanon, North Berwick, Wells and part of Berwick), I offer my strong endorsement of Michael Pardue.

Mike is the right person to represent this district in the Maine State Senate. His 40 years of municipal experience positions him to effectively represent the people of this district the moment he sets foot in the State House.

With a looming budget deficit, Mike’s proven skills as a town manager, police chief, fire chief and as a past chair of the Northeast Delta Dental Board of Directors, are an asset that others simply can’t offer. Throughout his many years as a leader in municipal and corporate governance, Mike has proven to be an active listener and responsive to the needs of citizens. I am confident he will demonstrate these same traits in Augusta.

When you cast your vote for Mike Pardue, you are supporting a proven, trusted and experienced leader that will tirelessly represent the people in District 34. On Nov. 3 or with an absentee ballot, I urge you to vote for Michael Pardue for Maine State Senate District 34.

Ronald F. Collins


Debate was ‘game changer’

To the editor,

The debate on Sept.  11 was truly a game changer for Maine’s people. As a former Independent candidate, I have worked for a better senator for Maine since my run in 2008, against Collins (R) and Allen (D).

Unlike this election, that race was considered a two-person race; Susan Collins never mentioned my name. I could not break into the debates and had trouble getting the news to notice my campaign, and the state disallowed my name on the ballot, although I had good legal standing and the required names on petitions. Their decision was called the worst ballot access decision ever made, and was reversed the next year. There was no way people saw a path to victory for Independents, because the monied candidates could buy their way to victory, so people could not risk choosing their favorite. No more.

Thanks to those of us who fought for ranked choice voting, there is a true choice and a real chance to vote for the preferred candidate for Maine’s senator, even if it is someone who is normally not in your political camp and outside your comfort zone.

This time, an Independent (the largest political party in Maine) can act in the time-honored tradition that has created real reform in our country, such as the way women got the right to vote. That way is the third way, and is needed when reforms are a priority, such as now.

I do not recommend voting Independent necessarily. I like the way that Sarah Gideon has gone toe-to-toe with Susan Collins, who rests on her laurels and needs to finally go.

Gideon has said she will be a champion. Those are the words I want to hear. Unfortunately, Sarah has bound herself to the vested interests and will not be free to be her own person, if elected. If we need change, and we do, we need to put people in that will fearlessly fight for it, with no strings attached.

I was interested that Max Linn was spelling it out about the dark money. It is high time that we heard this kind of talk on the debate stage and not just in our living rooms. He also showed that he was interested in himself and had the ego to prove it. There is nothing like live debate for pure theater.

I did not know that Lisa Savage would be tough enough, clear enough and brave enough to stick to her policies and articulate the need for her kind of candidate. It would be easy to dismiss a tiny, sweet old teacher, despite what her name suggests.

However, she spoke the words I was waiting to hear. She kept her responses dignified and powerful. I was thrilled.

As a Bernie delegate for our town, I was sorry to not be able to keep hearing the people be defended the way he did in the 2020 primary. He made the needed changes clear; Lisa Savage was the candidate Bernie was looking to bring to the table to change the political system. Could she do it? I did not dare dream.

And yet, right now, I am. I am back in the place of hope. It is dangerous and naive to believe a politician can change a whole system — or that the system would let them. Dare I believe that Lisa could pull this off, with no big names to plug her, or money to wallpaper our airways with constant ads?

I went back to how I heard Ms. Savage speak. She was not grandstanding, highbrow, or egocentric. Not flaunting herself, she simply presented the main points of her program. That was the essential thing to do. She needed to define the reason to make her the one for the job.

When I saw her pride in discussing the $150,000 dollars that the campaign had raised, I was excited for her. She got me on her team, in a short time.

Lisa Savage was human, not cyborg.

She did not enter the squabbling frenzy. She gave us a chance to look at her policies clearly.

We want someone to govern and keep their focus on the big picture; to see ahead and steer us from dangers. That is a matter of character, which was the very thing that Lisa led with. Showing leadership, she set out to do what she emphasized: to make character matter.

I can see it now: Lisa Savage goes to Washington. Just like Mr. Smith. I can tolerate her there. The others are typical pols and we need a new fighter in the Senate.

Laurie Dobson,

Cranberry Isles

Continued community building is needed

To the editor,

As a 40-plus year resident of Kennebunk, there is much about Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel, and Wells that I deeply value including our school systems, libraries, citizen engagement, commitment to civility and the beauty that surrounds us. Truly, we who live here are blessed. Nevertheless, our communities have also experienced acts of incivility that reflect the same deep, and sometimes ugly, divisions that can be found in every other state in our country. One of the largest divides at this time stems from deeply held views about racism.

For most of my life I have turned to religious sources to try and sort out that which is painful – like racism. Although I am not Catholic, I have often found Pastoral Letters that the U.S. Bishops have written to be helpful. Here is an excerpt from a Pastoral Letter written in 1979 which speaks to me:

“The signs of this time are asking us to wake up, to stand up and to speak up when we see racism. This is how we love our neighbor as ourselves. This is how we act like Jesus. This is how we do justice and love goodness (Micah 6:8). This is how we make safe lodging for all. This is how we begin the healing from racism in our land, writing a new parable of racial justice for this time … (Brothers and Sisters to Us: U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Racism in Our Day, 1979).

I am profoundly disturbed by racism. I am also deeply disturbed by nastiness and division within our communities. I am hoping that local faith/church communities will continue to be positive influences in community building.

In that spirit, I am going to end this letter with a thank you to all of the places of worship where, over the years, I have personally had experiences of community building, meaningful learning, or spiritual guidance. Note this list is limited to places where I have been. In some some cases my experience was singular and in others it was broader.

Thank you, Congregation Etz Chaim, Biddeford, for meaningful, relevant, worship and opportunities to dance.
Thank you, Unitarian Church, Kennebunk, for worship, community events, and ongoing responses to social justice issues and inclusion.
Thank you, United Church of Christ, Kennebunk, for worship and commitment to welcoming immigrants – our new neighbors, and for your commitment to inclusion.
Thank you, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Kennebunk, for worship, spiritual education/development, and commitment to understanding racism and white privilege.
Thank you, Messiah Christian Church, Wells, for warmly welcoming the pickleball community to play in their gym during the winter months and for inviting all players to participate in outreach to those in need.
Thank you Holy Cross Lutheran, Kennebunk, for worship and community outreach.
Thank you, South Church, Kennebunkport (my spiritual home), for our commitment to inclusion, community outreach and for seeking to understand what God requires.

Joanne Hulsey