Lincoln County Republicans and supporters gathered under sunny skies Saturday, Aug. 20 for the Lincoln County Republican Committee’s pig roast on Damariscotta Lake in Newcastle.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew was the keynote speaker at the event on committee Vice Chairman Norman Hunt’s property in Newcastle.
Other speakers were Republican candidates for office: Mark Holbrook, of Brunswick, candidate for Maine’s 1st Congressional District; Dana Dow, of Waldoboro, Maine Senate District 13; Guy Lebida, of Bowdoin, Senate District 23; Rep. Jeff Pierce, of Dresden, House District 53; Richard Bradstreet, of Vassalboro, House District 80; Rep. Jeff Hanley, of Pittston, House District 87; Rep. Deb Sanderson, of Chelsea, House District 88; Robin Mayer, of Damariscotta, House District 90; and Abden Simmons, of Waldoboro, House District 91.
Holbrook, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree in the 1st Congressional District, was one of many candidates who spoke about the importance of the party working together to make sure the entire Republican ticket is elected in November.
“I know I may not have been your first choice in the primary, and I know Donald Trump may not have been your first choice either,” Holbrook said. “But if we want to make this country safe and great again and take the state of Maine forward, close your eyes, hold your nose, do whatever you need to do, but let’s unify around the candidates to get Trump across the finish line and get me across the finish line.”
Lebida, the candidate for Senate District 23, has been going door-to-door not only to speak with Republican voters, but also Democrats and unenrolled voters.
Mayer, who chairs the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen, hopes to unseat Rep. Mick Devin, who is in his second term in the House.
Mayer said her experience on the board of selectmen has given her an idea of what concerns the people in District 90 might have.
“As a state representative, the key word is representative,” Mayer said. “I represent all those folks, and it’s about what they want. It’s not about what I want, and it’s not necessarily what the GOP wants, it’s about those people I talked to and what they want.”
Hanley is facing Wendy Ross, of Wiscasset, for House District 87, which includes the Lincoln County towns of Alna and Wiscasset, as well as Pittston and Randolph.
Hanley has been going door-to-door in his district and found many of the residents he talks to are concerned about the same topics.
“The topics at work are common-sense topics: welfare reform, school choice, and taxes,” Hanley said. “I think I’m at 500 doors now and moving, and I won’t stop until I win and take this back again.”
Former state Sen. Dana Dow, who will face three-term incumbent Sen. Chris Johnson, spoke about the importance of Republican candidates having a moral fiber.
“We don’t go out and say anything to get elected. We go out and tell the truth,” Dow said. “If we do that, we will be successful.”
Simmons, the Republican candidate for House District 91, which includes Waldoboro, spoke about his desire to defend working fishermen.
Sanderson is running for her fourth term in House District 88, which would be her last due to term limits. She spoke about how much the party has accomplished in the past six years, including policy changes within DHHS and lowering the state’s unemployment rate.
Bradstreet is facing two-term incumbent Rep. Lori Fowle, of Vassalboro, for House District 80, which includes Somerville and Hibberts Gore in Lincoln County.
As a small-business owner, Bradstreet said he would like to help LePage create jobs in the state.
During the campaign season, Bradstreet said a lot of residents have brought up the state’s growing opioid problem.
“It’s something I think we, as a party, need to discuss at some point in time to decide what our stance is going to be on it and go from there,” Bradstreet said
Pierce, the incumbent for House District 53, agreed with Bradstreet.
“We all know somebody or have someone in our family who is suffering from it,” Pierce said. “We’re going to have to deal with it and we’re going to have to be smart about it.”
Pierce stressed the importance of Republican candidates working together to make sure the whole ticket is elected so the party can address the problems the state is facing.
“We have a lot of troubles right now, and that’s why we have to win the presidency, we have to win the congressional seats and hold the Senate, and we have to take the House of Representatives here in Maine,” Pierce said. “Because if we don’t, then we don’t control the chairs, we don’t control the committees, and we don’t control the conversation.”
During her keynote speech at the end of the evening, Mayhew spoke about her department’s efforts to reduce the Medicaid rolls, achieve financial stability, and get Maine people back to work.