SCARBOROUGH — Two candidates are challenging the incumbent for the District 29 state House seat, which covers part of Scarborough.

Shawn Babine, D-Scarborough, is running for reelection to the seat against Annalee Rosenblatt, R-Scarborough, a labor relations and human resources consultant, and Sophia Warren, I-Scarborough, a self-employed online merchandise seller.

Each candidate cited different priorities for the Legislature regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Babine spoke of the need to review the state’s handling of the pandemic once the virus has been contained.

“Once the pandemic has subsided and has been eliminated a full assessment of our successes, failures and opportunities must be completed, document and action plans must be developed to address disaster recovery or other business continuity plans must be developed,” he said.

Rosenblatt called for focusing on continuing costs of the pandemic, as well as any emerging vaccines. She said the state needed to “leverage any federal money and monitor to assess whether it is spent for the intended purpose, insist that Maine is at the front of the line to get the vaccines when they are available and safe for our most vulnerable population.”

Warren also suggested seeking federal assistance and noted that the pandemic has “devastated” small businesses in Scarborough economically.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency — and the essential costs we are paying as a state are not ‘rainy day’ expenses,” she said. “The costs should not be put on the backs of Scarborough taxpayers, especially our veterans and senior citizens who already shoulder a disproportionate amount of property taxes in Scarborough.”

Babine mentioned economic growth as another priority. He mentioned co-sponsoring the SpaceX study commission for the Midcoast Redevelopment Project that he hopes will bring aeronautics or other high-tech business to the state.

“The primary focus of our post-pandemic response must prioritize how we sustain support for our traditional economic drivers in tourism, fisheries and wildlife while advancing growth in high technology, alternative energy and other leading-edge innovative industries,” he said.

Rosenblatt mentioned three priorities: advocating for “those who cannot take care of themselves” such as seniors, the disabled and veterans; working on improving access to health care; and supporting funding for education. She also said she wants to “review the budget looking for places for savings and reallocation of existing funds putting them where they are needed.”

Warren cited climate change as a priority, calling it “the urgent and existential crisis of my generation.” She said she would call for mitigation efforts to prevent coastal erosion, investment in renewable energy and work to reduce CO2 emissions statewide.

“As Mainers, we must recognize that climate change isn’t theoretical. It is a threat before us today,” she said. “I feel an enormous responsibility to be an advocate for our district on this issue.”

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