Two more candidates – a Democrat and a Republican – have entered the race to represent Maine House District 88, which consists of Chelsea, Jefferson, part of Nobleboro, and Whitefield. The new entries will result in two-way primaries for both parties.
Elizabeth Elaine Doyle, R-Whitefield, and Chris Hamilton, D-Whitefield, have entered the races for their parties’ nominations, joining Wayne Farrin, D-Jefferson, and Michael Lemelin, R-Chelsea.
State Rep. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, currently holds the seat, but has opted to challenge state Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, rather than run for reelection to the House.
Doyle is a licensed clinical professional counselor with 11 years of experience. She has her own private practice, Compass Counseling, in Gardiner.
Doyle wants to get involved and work toward bipartisanship in Augusta.
“It is something I have always wanted to do. I just realized this was a good opportunity to do so. I think we need someone up there who is willing to step over the line and be an example for others,” Doyle said.
Doyle described health care as an important issue.
“I work in the health care industry and these are issues that are in my face every day and I think there are things we can do to improve it,” Doyle said.
Personal liberty is another area Doyle is passionate about.
“I stand for personal liberties and think we need to preserve that,” she said.
Doyle said her politics are right of center, but she believes she could effectively represent voters from both parties.
“It’s not really representative of who I am. I’m really balanced politically and I think that will help me represent people. I’m kind of an enigma. I grab from both sides,” Doyle said.
Hamilton, originally from South China, has lived in Whitefield for 21 years. He owns Barred Owl Creamery.
He previously worked in nonprofit management and has experience as a lobbyist for four years with LifeFlight and five years with Maine Coast Heritage Trust. He represented both before the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
Hamilton said he helped coordinate a bipartisan effort to raise $53 million for the Land for Maine’s Future program and helped raise about $4 million for LifeFlight, including funds for medical equipment, night vision goggles, and weather stations.
“I have extensive experience and a real respect and knowledge of how the process works. I think I can be helpful to my constituents. I know my way around up there,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve had a long career in nonprofits, both in Augusta and fundraising, helping thousands of people in Maine,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton believes his experience as a farmer would also help him as a state legislator.
“With the farm in Whitefield, I’ve been through it firsthand, accessing state programs,” Hamilton said. He cited Land for Maine’s Future as an example.
Hamilton said he would work to support and create new small businesses.
“I’m interested in creating quality jobs here in central Maine through small businesses and farms,” he said.
Climate change is another important issue for Hamilton, who said he appreciates recent work to promote a green economy.
“The governor and Legislature have taken steps in the right direction, but we can do a lot more and do it in a way that helps create local jobs. There is a way to address this while we take care of and grow our economy,” Hamilton said.
Affordable health care and access to educational opportunities, including trade schools, are other issues important to Hamilton.
Doyle and Hamilton are running as clean elections candidates, as is Farrin, according to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Lemelin is traditionally financed.
Farrin owns the real estate agency Farrin Properties, of Damariscotta, and chairs the Jefferson Budget Committee.
Lemelin owns Curves in Gardiner and sits on the RSU 12 Board of Directors.