Timothy Thorsen a candidate for the Scarborough Special Election. Courtesy Photo

Suzanne Philips a candidate for the Scarborough Special Election. Courtesy Photo

SCARBOROUGH — A special election to fill the seat for House District 27 will be held Jan. 11. The election is being held due to the resignation of Kyle R. Bailey of Gorham. Scarborough voters can vote on Election Day at Town Hall at 259 U.S. Route 1; polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, people can vote absentee; ballots, which are available now, must be requested by Jan. 6 and returned by Jan. 11 prior to the closing of the poll.

Candidates for the open seat include Democrat James Boyle, Republican Timothy Thorsen and Suzanne Phillips who is unenrolled, all of Gorham. District 27 includes a parts of Gorham and Scarborough.

Thorsen, 62, has been married for 40 years and has two adult children. He has lived in Gorham for seven years and currently works as a director of Project Management, at Rubb Building Systems located in Sanford. Thorsen served 30 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring as a colonial. He served in both active duty and reserve assignments.

Boyle

Boyle, 63, is married, with two children and two stepchildren. He has a bachelor’s degree in forest management from the University of Maine, Class of 1981. He works as an environmental consultant, owner of Environmental Permitting & Inspection. He served in the  Maine State Senate from 2012-2014; he served as Senate chairperson on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee; he was on the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee; he was a board member of the Efficiency Maine Trust;   was a former board member of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust; and was former president of the Maine Association of Wetland Scientists.

Phillips, 45, is married. She has lived in Gorham since 1985, is a graduate of Gorham High School, Class of 1994, and she has a bachelor’s degree in Art and Education from the University of Southern Maine. She has served on the Gorham Town Council for three terms and the Gorham School Committee for one term.  If elected, she will continue to hold her position as a Town Council member. She is also a nanny, house cleaner, and previously was executive director of The Gorham Business Exchange

“The current state of affairs in Maine” are the reason he is running for office, Thorsen said.

“The top issue facing the state is the education of our children,” Thorsen said. “Our children are our most important blessings; it is axiomatic that the future of our families, communities, and our nation depends upon how well we posture our children for success in life. It is imperative that our children are safely able to stay in school, best preparing them for prosperous futures for them and their families. Mainers deserve to be in control of what their kids are learning and their developmental needs, in consultation with educators. 

Children should be taught about state cultural traditions of independence and fortitude, he said. In addition, he said, “Our children should continue to be taught that they are individually and severally worthy and capable and endowed with full complements of Human potential and capability … regardless of their ethnic, racial, or family cultural heritage. Sadly, many in this era seek to segregate our children into perpetually competing groups based upon their skin color or ethnic origins, denying the fundamental truth of their shared humanity”

He advocates for local control of the school board and that parents should be in control of their kids’ education and developmental needs, in consultation with educators.

“Daily living is becoming increasingly unaffordable for all but our most wealthy citizens,” Thorsen said. “I will support returning excess state tax revenues back to taxpayers and lowering taxes.

He said Maine’s small businesses should be strengthened, that he supports affordable energy and that “a well-functioning economy is essential for the general health and well-being of Mainers.”

“I intend to make myself available to all my constituents; in terms of time and distance” said Thorson regarding balancing representation for both towns, and noted that “the northern tip of Scarborough is mere minutes from downtown Gorham. I envision conducting regular online meetings to ensure that my constituents are informed and given the opportunity to express their views.  While the particulars of issues will vary from town to town, when rolled up to the district level solutions should benefit the district as a whole across town lines.”

Phillips said one of the most significant issues for both towns “traffic and roads, especially in the County Road Area. Both towns are close to an agreement with the Maine Turnpike Authority regarding the new planned spur, but we should also continue to consider alternative means of transportation to continue to lessen the traffic problem to and from towns further west of Gorham.”

In addition, she said, “I know that both towns in the district struggle to attract businesses to the area and work to be business friendly.  On a state level, we need to attract businesses to provide jobs for a younger population. We need to work on providing funds for educating and training trade workers to fill the statewide labor shortage and encourage younger people to work here in Maine.”

“Gorham and Scarborough have always worked together as neighboring communities,” Phillips said about how she plans to balance representation for both towns. “In fact, Gorham and Scarborough soon will be working on a master plan for the North Scarborough/South Gorham area in District 27. I will continue to understand the changes, issues and ordinances that are happening in Scarborough through my continued work on the Town Council. I hope to affect changes that will benefit the communities of both Scarborough and Gorham as your state representative,” Philips said.

“The top issue facing the state is climate change,” Boyle told The American Journal newspaper. “We must reduce the use of fossil fuel in our heating, transportation and electricity sectors by making better fuel-efficient options more affordable. We must act to ensure that Maine citizens, our environment and our economy are resilient in the face of climate change.”

“Last year it was 57 degrees on Christmas Day,” he said, “marking some of the warmest weather recorded in state history. Power outages from extreme weather and high tides overtaking the breakers have become common occurrences, putting us on the front line of weather destruction.”

“Our state government should take note of the goals the University of Southern Maine has been working toward since 2007 to become carbon neutral by 2040,” Boyle said. “We must prepare this generation and future generations of Mainers for the good-paying jobs that will be a part of reducing fossil fuel use and adapting to a changing climate by investing in high school career and technical education and working with our universities to offer continuing education courses to adults in this changing world.”

“Finally,” he said, “we need to ensure that those most vulnerable to the economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change receive the most support and opportunities from the actions we take in response to climate change.”

“We’re all in this together,” Boyle said, “so let’s all do everything we can to support each other as we work toward solutions.”

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