Matthea Daughtry and Brad Pattershall are vying for the state Senate 24 seat held by Everett “Brownie” Carson, who has decided not to seek re-election.

Both candidates talked about making sure the state is financially secure coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Pattershall focusing on controlling taxes and Daughtry saying she wants to make sure vital programs remain intact following a possible budget shortfall.

Senate 24 covers Brunswick, Freeport, Harpswell, North Yarmouth and Pownal.

Matthea ‘Mattie’ Daughtry

Reaching term limits for her state House 49 seat, Daughtry, a Democrat, said she wants to continue her legislative work with a particular focus on protecting and expanding “vital” financial programs. Daughtry said business relief, food insecurity and housing programs for Mainers could be cut if there’s a budget shortfall related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was in the Legislature when we got word of the first diagnosed case in Maine, and those issues that got me to run are all so important, but now through the lens of making sure we are a stronger state coming out of this than when we ran into it,” Daughtry said.

She also wants to work harder for universal health care, seeing how Mainers have been “devastated” from medical bills, or losing work because of the pandemic and consequently no longer have insurance.

“We need to put all of our steps to make sure our health care system is accessible or free,” Daughtry said.

Daughtry said she would also like to focus on the student debt crisis, racial and social justice and sustainable measures to combat the climate crisis.

“I’ve shown over the last four terms that I get work done, I am passionate, and when the going gets tough I work for what we need,” Daughtry said. “I grew up here … and I deeply love Maine. What happens to Senate District 24 will happen to me personally, so I will work 24/7 to make sure it gets even stronger. It’s going to be a strange session we are walking into, and I have legislative experience and can hit the ground running on day one.”

Brad Pattershall

Pattershall said while he doesn’t have a specific agenda to tackle if elected, he wants to focus on making sure taxes do not increase, looking at the financial state of Mainers hurt by the pandemic.

“The most important thing to me is economics, making sure we are coming out of a pandemic and people aren’t taxed to death,” he said. “People are struggling, losing jobs, mortgages are going into forbearance, and you can’t kick people while they are down. So my priority is triaging state spending, which would be some combinations of cuts to things that are extravagances, but maintaining the safety net nevertheless.”

Pattershall also hopes as a Republican with an ability to work with anyone, he can heal divisions on the Senate floor by maintaining a cooperative, yet strong, presence and build bipartisan relationships.

“I remember after the Sept. 11 (terrorist attacks), after the bombings, everyone on Capitol Hill united, and we are now the antithesis,” he said. “I’ve been a lawyer for over 20 years. I respected Ginsburg and Scalia very much, and ideologically they were opposites. They would really attack each other logically in opinions and dissents, but remained good friends.”

“I’ve been a problem-solver my whole life; as an attorney that is what you do,” he said. “I’ve made arguments in front of the Maine supreme court, won cases, lost cases, tied; I’m willing to fight and never afraid to go against insurance companies, more powerful law firms, so if they want someone to listen, if the constituents want someone to listen and work on solutions, I am well equipped to do that, and will be attentive to the needs, and fighting to get them where they want to go.”

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