The chair of the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen has announced her candidacy for the Maine House of Representatives.
Roberta “Robin” Mayer, R-Damariscotta, will seek the House District 90 seat, which consists of Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Monhegan, Newcastle, and parts of Nobleboro and South Bristol.
Rep. Mick Devin, D-Newcastle, currently holds the seat.
Anna Morkeski, of Damariscotta, is also seeking the Republican nomination.
Mayer currently serves as the secretary of the Damariscotta Republican Committee, and was elected as a delegate to the Maine Republican State Convention in 2014 and 2016.
Mayer said she made the decision to enter the race after being encouraged by others.
“It was sort of like when I first ran as a write-in candidate for the selectmen,” Mayer said. “People were asking if I would run, so I talked it over with Dick and we weighed the pros and cons and we decided together that I would.”
Dick Mayer is Robin Mayer’s husband.
Mayer has served as a selectman for Damariscotta since 2012, when she was elected as a write-in candidate. She won re-election for a second three-year term in 2015.
“It really is an amazing form of government, because of just how much control the citizens have,” Mayer said. “I’ve really enjoyed the past four years.”
In addition to her time as a selectman, Mayer has also been a member and chair of the Damariscotta Planning Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Lincoln County Budget Advisory Committee.
Mayer said she believes her experience at the local level of government has helped her prepare for what she would face in Augusta if elected.
“We’re essentially a microcosm of what’s going on at the state level, because you see a lot of the same issues popping up,” Mayer said.
Since 2011, Mayer has volunteered as the publicity chair for the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. She and her husband created and manage the annual Pumpkin Derby during the celebration.
Mayer also serves on the board of trustees of the Friends of Midcoast Maine, a grass-roots organization based in Camden that identifies and encourages opportunities for positive change along the Midcoast. Some of the goals of the organization include trying to make Maine more business-friendly, as well as attracting young people to the state, two goals Mayer would bring to the State House if elected.
“I think as a whole, we really need to push for economic growth and development in the state,” Mayer said. “There are some jobs that you can do anywhere in the world, and all you need is a laptop. We need to find ways to bring those people to Maine, but also keep them here.”
Another key component of Mayer’s campaign will focus on taxes. Since she moved to Maine, Mayer said the taxes have “been increasing at a rate higher than the cost of living,” and have placed undue burdens on residents who may be receiving Social Security or otherwise be on a fixed income.
“Attempting to remedy the situation at the local level is almost impossible,” Mayer said. “In Damariscotta, for example, only 14 percent of the budget is locally controlled. I’ve been working at the local and county level, but the biggest payoff will come at the state level, since that budget affects all others.”
In preparation for the election, Mayer said she will be holding a series of listening sessions with the residents of District 90 to determine what their concerns are and bring them to the Legislature.
“If I’m going to represent the people, then I need to know what they care about,” Mayer said. “In the end, I want to do what’s best for the constituents.”
Prior to moving to Maine, Mayer worked as a senior program analyst with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
She went on to work as the chief of the Office of Consumer Information at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. During that time, Mayer developed and implemented the administration’s national media campaigns and its consumer information and materials for behavioral and motor-vehicle programs.
Mayer currently operates her own communications consulting firm, Mayer & Associates.
Mayer and her husband have resided in Damariscotta for almost nine years.