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Reelect Susan Collins

I recently cast my absentee ballot for Sen. Susan Collins. It was an easy choice. She is a moderate, hard-working, sensible person who advocates for all Maine people.

Do people remember that day in July of 2017 when the Senate was about to strike down Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act)? As I have family members with pre-existing conditions, I closely watched that vote, as insurance coverage is critical for them as well as thousands of other Mainers. Fortunately for all of us, Collins was one of only three Republicans who bucked President Donald Trump and protected Obamacare.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has helped sustain a quarter million Maine jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Collins didn’t just vote for the bill that created this program, she co-wrote it. The PPP has supported working Mainers to protect their paychecks and their jobs as a result of the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

I too am a moderate Republican and may even disagree with Collins from time to time. While it doesn’t happen often, when it does, I know she is making her decision based on a thorough examination of the issues and is not anyone’s puppet.

Collins has worked tirelessly for her constituents, Maine, and our country for over two decades. She has worked across party lines to get the job done. Join me in reelecting her so that her strong and thoughtful voice will continue in the Senate.

Clare Hudson Payne

Brooksville

Margarita Contreni for House

It’s time for northern Piscataquis to change our representation in Augusta and elect a person with experience revitalizing our local communities. Margarita Contreni has worked with business people and officials on the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Council, spearheading efforts to revitalize Greenville, including leading the effort to raise funds and plan for a waterfront park with public docks in downtown Greenville to draw in more visitors and business. She brought artists and business people together to help create the artisan village in Greenville that has brought visitors and revenues.

Contreni supports all efforts to develop a four-season resort at Big Moose Mountain near Greenville, a game changer toward achieving our goal to create a 12-month vibrant economy for our region. She also knows that our economic success depends on reasonable clean environment policies, including protecting the quality of our rivers and lakes.

Our current representative in the State House of Representatives voted against bills to ensure occasional inspections of old waste water disposal systems. Contreni enjoys getting out and talking to people — she is a bridge builder who will work to get Augusta to pay more attention to our communities here in northern Piscataquis. Her opponent voted against a faster increase of tax revenue sharing between Augusta and the counties. By contrast, Contreni knows that getting Augusta to help empower local people is the best way forward. That requires a personable but insistent fighter for northern Piscataquis.

She’ll fight for us in Augusta starting next year but first vote for her in November!

Robert Ford

Beaver Cove

Why I’m voting for Sara Gideon

Recently, I was fortunate to be part of a health care round table in Caribou with Sara Gideon. As a pre-Medicare Mainer faced with health insurance premiums approaching $2,000 a month, health care is an important issue for me personally and professionally. My patients struggle with the cost of health care, the cost of medications, the cost of insurance and access to health care. Our office spends hours identifying which medication their particular insurance covers, the cheapest pharmacy, pharmaceutical sponsored indigent programs, who gets free samples and prescription coupons. Mainers are “clipping coupons” to fund their prescription medication. Gideon has begun to improve this.

Meanwhile, the health care bureaucracy has exploded with layers upon layers of intermediate insurance carriers, insurance clearinghouses, billing processing, health care claims adjusters, prior authorization personnel that then require providers to respond with more paperwork, documentation and staffing. Eliminating even half the layers could result in huge savings — like enough money to cover health care for all without raising taxes. Gideon knows streamlining will only occur with legislative intervention.

Gideon understands that our health care crisis requires a national response, not a band aid approach. I think it is time to send a person to Washington with a fresh perspective. When the incumbent senator has had 24 years in office to fix health care, and hasn’t, I believe it is time to give someone else an opportunity. I am voting for Sara Gideon.

Dale J. Gordon

Family and Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Caribou

Chose Clare Mundell for Bangor School Committee

Clare Mundell is the best candidate for one of the three seats on the ballot for Bangor School Committee.

Students in the Bangor School Department consistently demonstrate strong academic performance. The district’s leadership team hires and trains highly-educated teachers who commit to ongoing continuing education and demonstrate a passion for their profession and compassion toward the students they serve.

Betsy Webb’s retirement places the Bangor School Committee with its most critical decision in the past decade: an appointment of the next superintendent prepared to maintain the academic standards while providing an environment that promotes the emotional, social and mental well-being of all children in our community.

A well-rounded group of experts on the school committee is critical for all students in Bangor to thrive. Among the members, we must hold at least one seat for someone committed to equity and promoting students’ mental health. Maine children’s anxiety rates are the highest in the nation, and childhood depression ranks third in the country. Maine’s adolescent suicide rate has increased by 50 percent since 2008 and ranks among the nation’s highest. African American and American Indian and Native youth attempted suicide at twice the rate of white youth.

Mundell is a licensed psychologist who will advocate for Bangor students to ensure they have access to mental health, nursing and counseling staff. She will advocate for every child so they feel connected to their school, and no one falls through the cracks due to mental health needs, disability or membership to an underrepresented group.

Kelley Strout, Ph.D., RN

Bangor

Election notice

The BDN is no longer accepting letters and commentary related to the Nov. 3 election. Not all submissions can be published.