A Boothbay Harbor selectman with experience shaping public policy at the national level has thrown her hat into the ring for the Maine House of Representatives.
Wendy J. Wolf, of West Boothbay Harbor, filed nomination papers Feb. 24 to run for the House District 89 seat. The district includes Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, part of South Bristol, Southport, and Westport Island.
Boothbay Harbor Republican Stephanie Hawke currently represents the district.
Wolf is running as an independent, a status she feels will be beneficial to the people she hopes to represent.
“I think being an independent helps me to be more effective, because I’m not beholden to any party platform,” Wolf said. “I can look at an array of ideas and make a decision based on what is best for the people, as opposed to what might be right for a party.”
In 2000, Wolf founded the Maine Health Access Foundation, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides grants and funding to programs that help promote access to quality health care and improve the health of Maine residents.
Wolf announced in October that she planned to step down from her roles as president and CEO of the Maine Health Access Foundation.
Prior to founding the Maine Health Access Foundation, Wolf worked in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she focused her efforts on improving public policy regarding children’s health insurance programs.
“My job was to really identify and bring together the best people so we were working as a team promoting the same policies and values,” Wolf said. “We wanted to make sure we were leveraging each other’s strengths so that our work would leap forward and not get stuck in our own departments.”
Currently, Wolf is in her second term as a Boothbay Harbor selectman, having been elected in 2014 to complete a one-year term and again in 2015 for a three-year term.
During her time as a selectman, Wolf has focused her efforts on promoting economic development on the Boothbay peninsula. She is a co-chair of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor’s joint economic development committee.
“We’re all working collaboratively to see how we can promote and preserve the communities in ways we haven’t talked about before,” Wolf said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s gotten people excited! By working together, we’ll have a healthier, thriving economy.”
Wolf hopes to bring her focus on growing the economy, as well as this spirit of collaboration, to the House if elected.
“The economy is high on everyone’s radar,” Wolf said. “We need to focus on creating a future-oriented economic sector as opposed to the way the economy worked 20 years ago. We want to retain our young people and make Maine a place that is attractive to everyone, both to live and to work.”
Through her variety of professional experiences, Wolf said she knows how to work with individuals expressing diverse views to find common ground, something that is essential when crafting laws and public policy.
“There is a lot of opportunity about where our state can go and what we can do,” Wolf said. “There are a lot of assets we have in Maine that we can tap into to move the state forward. We just need to work together and find the best ways to use those resources.”
Wolf received her medical degree from the Ohio State College of Medicine before completing her training in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She worked as a pediatric cardiologist for 20 years, and received her master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.