NEW GLOUCESTER — Newcomer Matthew Leonard is challenging incumbent Ned Claxton for the District 20 state Senate seat.

Claxton is seeking his second term.

District 20 includes all of New Gloucester as well as Auburn, Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland.

Claxton, a Democrat, is publicly funded under the Maine Clean Election Act while Leonard, a Republican, is traditionally funded through individual contributions and political action committees.


If reelected, Claxton wants to focus on ensuring that Mainers have access to affordable health insurance and quality healthcare.


“As a retired physician, my biggest priority is to get people the care they need,” Claxton said in an interview last week.

In terms of tackling the challenges of COVID-19, there are “many layers,” to the issue, but “we need to continue to make sure that Maine is as safe as possible for residents,” get Mainers back to work and get patrons in businesses “when people feel safe to return.”

There will be tough decisions to be made budget-wise in order to balance expenses, such as social services programs, with the anticipated decrease in revenues, he said.

The Department of Health and Human Services is one of the largest chunks of the budget, for example, Claxton said, but any cuts should not “jeopardize those services they provide for the people in Maine.”


As senator, Leonard said one of his priorities would be to getting Maine back to work.


“The backbone of Maine is small businesses and small businesses have been devastated by the (COVID-19) restrictions put in place,” he said in an interview last week.

Reviewing the budget in anticipation of a major deficit will come down to “needs versus wants,” Leonard said.

Childcare and education are also on his mind, especially if kids are only going back to school a few days a week and otherwise learning remotely.

“The average Mainer can’t afford the childcare bill that the government is saying they’re going to have to take care of,” he said.

Leonard also cited educational support, health care and “addressing the way racial and ethnic minorities are treated by the criminal justice system,” as his other top priorities.

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