A former prosecutor is running against a member of the Maine House of Representatives for the seat in state Senate District 29.

Stephanie Anderson, R-Cape Elizabeth, who stepped down as Cumberland County District Attorney in 2018 after holding the position since 1990, is challenging Rep. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, whose term in the house expires at the end of this year. Both are seeking the seat vacated by Rebecca Millett, D-Cumberland, whose term expires at the end of this year. The district covers South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and part of Scarborough.

Both candidates, when asked about the pandemic, said the Legislature has to look toward economic recovery going forward. Anderson praised state officials for containing the virus so far, but warned of the need to support small businesses, make strategic investments and establish job training.

“There are very tough choices to be made and that is why it is critical to elect people to the Legislature who understand how budget decisions affect people on the ground,” she said.

Carney also praised state officials, but noted “the lack of a coordinated national response since early March,” and said the state will need to continue to work to add unemployment benefits, as well as loans and grants to businesses.

“As we head into fall and winter with no national strategy, the Mills administration, the Legislature and Maine people will have to work together to respond to the continuing public health and economic issues,” she said.

Anderson said another issue she will prioritize is racism in Maine.

“Until that fracture is rectified, we as a society will not be able to make any meaningful headway on anything else,” she said. “We need to look beyond personal attitudes and simplified slogans and look at the root causes for inequality of education and opportunity and over-representation in the criminal justice system.”

Carney also cited racism as a key issue, along with addressing climate change. She pointed to work she has already done with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations, and on climate change legislation such as the state’s new oil terminal cleanup law as examples of her commitment to the issues.

“In the face of these challenges, District 29 needs a senator who has a track record of success on these issues,” she said.

Sean Murphy 780-9094

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