Two Democrats are facing off in a primary race for House District 109, representing part of Gorham.

They are Eleanor Sato of 14 Dragonfly Lane and Seven Siegel, 238 Main St., and both spoke out with their opinions this week on the Maine turnpike connector to Gorham.

The primary election is set for June 11 and the Democratic winner will run against Alan Livingston, a Republican unopposed on the primary ballot.

The House District seat now belongs to Rep. James Boyle, a Democrat who is not seeking reelection.


Sato, 26, and Siegel, 34, both have political experience, but Sato is making her first bid for elected office.

She has been a Democratic party field organizer and worked in the state’s Senate Majority Office as a legislative aid working with state senators. She chairs the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee of the Maine Democratic Party and is second vice president of the newly formed Maine Federation of Democratic Women.



Siegel, elected to a three-year Town Council term in 2022, is a current councilor and chairs the board’s Ordinance Committee in addition to the Appointments/Personnel Committee. Siegel previously served on the town’s Planning Board.

Sato says the major issues facing the Legislature are education funding, climate change and access to health care, including “safeguarding” the right to abortion. “I believe that the best way to move forward on these issues is by listening to fellow Gorham residents to build community-based solutions while also collaborating with legislators on both sides of the aisle to deliver on legislation that meets the needs of Gorham,” she said.

“My unique experiences, ability to listen, dedicated work ethic and the hours of conversations I’ve had with Gorham residents are invaluable and enable me to take action the moment I’m elected,” Sato said.

Siegel said the biggest issue facing the Legislature is its impact. “Every year, the Legislature passes bills and spends millions of dollars to address our state’s largest issues, and yet these problems continue to grow,” Siegel said. “There’s a disconnect between how the laws are written and the actual impact they have on local communities.”

Siegel, as a town councilor, understands the specific needs of Gorham and will ensure that bills take into account local needs of communities across the state. “What works in one part of Maine won’t work in another,” Siegel said, “and we need to pass legislation with that in mind.”

Both candidates voiced their opinions about the Maine turnpike connector to Gorham and the environment.


Sato said the traffic on Route 25 and the overlap of routes 22 and 114 on County Road is a problem that needs to be solved. “However, I’m not confident that the connector is the best solution,” Sato said. “I’m deeply concerned about the potential environmental impact of the connector, as well as the negative impact it will have on Smiling Hill Farm,” she said.

Quoting a constituent, she said, “We are not making more land.”

She added, “It’s paramount that we move towards more reliable public transportation and better infrastructure for active transportation to ensure that we are working towards meeting our climate action goals.”

Siegel recommends local solutions to solve traffic issues. “I am against the Gorham Connector,” Siegel said.

Instead of a state agency spending over $200 million and paving over a farm, Siegel advocates taking half that money and splitting it between Gorham and Scarborough for intersection improvements to alleviate traffic. “We can solve the issue without needing to resort to such a drastic and permanent scar on the land,” Siegel said.

“As the only candidate endorsed by the Sierra Club, my commitment to protecting our natural resources and farmland is always at the forefront of my mind,” Siegel said.

Sato, a professional dancer and bartender, lives in a multi-generational family home. Siegel, a nonprofit consultant, is married and has a 7-month-old daughter.

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