The candidates for Maine House District 88 discuss how to help small businesses and address climate change in a forum that will air at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 on Lincoln County Television.
Chris Hamilton, D-Whitefield, and Michael Lemelin, R-Chelsea, are running to represent District 88, which includes Chelsea, Jefferson, Whitefield, and part of Nobleboro.
The seat is currently occupied by state Rep. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, who is running for Maine Senate District 13.
Lemelin would make it a priority to help small businesses. He said misinformation about COVID-19 is preventing businesses from reopening. He believes doctors and scientists are capable, but “don’t know what they’re dealing with” regarding the pandemic.
One of Hamilton’s priorities would be addressing climate change.
“Climate change is a critically important thing of our time, there’s no question about that,” Hamilton said. He wants to hear recommendations from Gov. Janet Mills’ climate change task force.
“Like all issues, all parties need to come together to address climate change and to look at the different options that we have,” Hamilton said. “I look forward to working on both sides of the aisle as we address this issue.”
Lemelin believes climate change exists, but does not see it as a crisis. “Do we need to take care of our planet? Yes. Maine is leading in that, so we’re already doing it,” Lemelin said. He cited astrophysicist Fred Singer, who said humans benefit from many effects of global warming.
Lemelin said any carbon tax would harm the state’s economy. “We need to focus on something else. There are more critical things affecting Maine, like Maine’s economy,” he said.
Both candidates oppose the use of negative or attack ads.
“I’m committed, and I think Michael’s committed as well, to be an all-positive campaign,” Hamilton said. “We should talk about the things that we want to do. There’s no reason to attack each other.”
Hamilton said many of his constituents tell him they are “sick and tired of the politics,” citing attack ads in Maine’s U.S. Senate race.
“We can do better than that. That’s the reason that I’m running,” Hamilton said. “Instead of sitting and complaining about the process, I’m stepping forward to have a positive campaign and a positive voice in the Legislature.”
“I wish it were illegal to have all this negative campaigning, because to me, it’s a hate crime,” Lemelin said. “To me, you should just stand on your true merits — explain who you are, what you’re for, and let the people decide who they want.”
Lemelin does not want people to vote based on any one issue. “It shouldn’t be on personal agendas. It should be on the merits,” he said. “It should be on the skill level of the person, and what they can or can’t do for you in the Legislature.”
The forum will air on LCTV — Channel 7 — and at lctv.org.