Matthew Boucher of Ellsworth and Michael Povich of Ellsworth are the two Republicans vying for the nomination for House District 38.
The district includes Ellsworth, Otis and Trenton.
Povich, 66, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and a law degree from Boston College. He was appointed Hancock County district attorney in 1973 and was elected as district attorney for Washington and Hancock counties in 1974. He is completing his ninth term in that elected position and chose not to seek re-election. He has been involved in a number of professional and local organizations over the years, including the Criminal Law Advisory Commission in Maine, the National District Attorneys Association, the Maine Prosecutors Association, the Ellsworth Rotary, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Fletcher’s Landing Philharmonic Orchestra.
Povich said money will be a key issue facing the next Legislature. With anticipated budget deficits continuing, he said, Maine is going to have to learn to “live within its means. We will have to set priorities and decide who we’re going to say ‘no’ to.”
Health care, education and criminal justice are areas where Povich said he hopes to focus his efforts if elected. The state needs to find ways to provide quality, affordable health care, especially for elderly residents, he said. With a growing elderly population, he added, there is a growing need for assisted-living facilities and the people to work in them.
The state has good schools, Povich said, but needs to create a climate in which students can be confident that if they get an education — whether it be in college or technical school — and develop the skills, they will get a job.
He also said he is interested in criminal justice and would like to serve on that committee as did his brother, the late Edward Povich, when he represented the district. There are a lot of interesting issues that still need to be worked on, including sexual offender laws, sentencing issues, drug courts, making the court system more efficient, and ensuring qualified and capable court-appointed defense attorneys.
Boucher, 23, grew up in a working-class family and attended local schools. He worked as a lobster fisherman and earned a culinary degree from Hancock County Technical Center. He also worked in area restaurants before moving into the political arena. He has worked for nonprofit organizations and is a consultant for Protect Mass Children, a nonprofit group in Massachusetts working to establish strong mandatory sentencing for pedophiles.
Boucher has worked on statewide efforts to lower taxes and is serving his first term on the Ellsworth City Council.
Job creation is the No. 1 issue facing the state, according to Boucher.
“My generation is leaving the state,” he said. “We educate them, but there are no jobs for them here.”
Also, many people in Maine are underemployed, he said.
A closely related issue, Boucher said, is taxation. High taxation, he said, is stifling job creation, keeping new businesses out of Maine and preventing existing business from expanding. He said the state needs to streamline its budgets and eliminate waste in government. By eliminating waste, he said, the state could lower taxes or funnel the saved money into other areas, such as roads, bridges and education.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democratic candidate Louis Luchini in the November election.