A Look at the Candidates’ Contests

By Lura Jackson

Upon opening your ballot this year you’ll see a bit of the familiar – and a bit of the new. Along with the customary dance of the incumbents and their challengers, this year’s midterm election is the first in which Mainers will be utilizing the Ranked Choice Voting system.

The local races

At the local level, Calais will be determining two seats on the City Council on November 6th from a selection of three candidates. Two of the contenders – Artie Mingo and Eddie Moreside – have previously held seats on the City Council, while challenger Jarod Farn-Guillette is hoping to offer a new perspective in municipal leadership.

Mingo, who is a guiding force for his family’s cranberry, blueberry and balsam-product farm, has been a steady presence on the City Council for several terms. Moreside is the Director of Downeast EMS and previously served on the council before narrowly losing his seat in the last election. When former Councilor Anne Nixon resigned, Moreside stepped in to fill her seat and thus has been an interim councilor since June. Farn-Guillette, now working as the science teacher at Indian Township, is professionally skilled in urban design and working with marginalized communities.

The two chosen candidates will join their four fellow Calais City Councilors to guide the future of a municipality that is approaching new ground in its co-development of a fiber optic network and an unprecedented revival of the historic downtown district. Calais remains faced with the ongoing challenges of managing a balance of providing services to the wider Eastern Washington County Community and a healthy, forward-thinking budget.

James Macdonald is running unchallenged for a seat on the School Committee.

At the Washington County level, only one position is being vied for by two candidates – all others are running unopposed. The contested seat is the 7th Prosecutorial District Attorney, who serves as the prosecutor in all criminal cases in Washington and Hancock County. Incumbent Matthew Foster is aiming to continue his four-year run, while his challenger, Steven Juskewitch, wants to bring his 40 years of experience as a prosecutor to the table to try a new approach to the opioid abuse epidemic.

The unopposed positions on the ballot for Washington County are Republican Lyman Holmes for Judge of Probate, Republican Carlene Holmes for Register of Probate, Republican Jill Holmes for County Treasurer, Republican Sharon Strout for Register of Deeds, and Republican Barry Curtis for Sheriff.

Running for the state house

At the state level, incumbent Anne Perry’s seat in the Maine House of Representatives for District 140 – which comprises Baileyville, Calais, Charlotte, Passamaquoddy Indian Township, Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point, Pembroke, Perry, Robbinston and Baring Plantation – is being vied for by Art Carter of Charlotte. Democrat Perry is a resident of Calais that served as a nurse social worker for 28 years before becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner and has held five terms in the state house. Republican Carter is a retired Major of the United States Army’s Military Intelligence branch.

The two candidates vying for the Maine State Senate seat for District 6 – which consists of all of Washington County plus the Hancock County towns of Gouldsboro, Sullivan and Winter Harbor – are Calais resident Marianne Moore and Machias resident Christina Therrien. The seat was formerly held by Republican Joyce Maker, who opted not to run in this election.

Republican Moore has formerly served as the Mayor of Calais. Her past career was as an upper manager in the telecommunications industry and of Curves in Calais. She now works with Healthy Acadia as a cancer patient navigator. Democrat Therrien has served as and is once again the Town Manager of Machias and has also been the Town Manager of Madawaska.

Four candidates are vying for the executive title of State Governor this year. Representing the incumbent Republican party is Shawn Moody of Gorham, the Democrat’s candidate is Janet Mills of Farmington. They are joined in the contest by two independents, Alan Caron of Freeport and Teresa Hayes of Buckfield. Moody is the entrepreneur behind Moody’s Collision Centers, which has more than 200 employees. Mills is the Maine Attorney General and she was the first female District Attorney to be elected in New England. Caron started his own printing and design business in Portland and is an economic development consultant. Hayes was Maine’s first Independent State Treasurer and has past experience serving in the Maine House of Representatives.

While Maine voters voted in favor of restoring Ranked Choice Voting for the state’s primary and federal elections in June, the vote does not affect the governor’s race. A constitutional amendment would be required for Ranked Choice Voting to be applicable to the governor’s seat.   

Maine’s voices in Washington and the Ranked Choice Voting system

For the first time, Maine will be casting its vote for it representatives in Washington D.C. using the Ranked Choice Voting system this year. The two contests – for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – are between multiple candidates, giving voters the chance to rank their choices in order of preference.

Four candidates are vying to become the Representative to Congress for District 2. Maine has two districts in the House of Representatives with District 1 currently held by Democrat Chellie Pingree. District 2 has been held by Republican Bruce Poliquin of Oakland which is unusual in the United States House of Representatives in that it is the only District in New England to have a Republican representative. Incumbent Poliquin is being challenged by Democrat Jared Golden of Lewiston, Independent Tiffany Bond of Portland and Independent William Hoar of Southwest Harbor.

 

Poliquin is a businessman that has previously served as Maine State Treasurer and was elected to his position in 2014. Golden is a veteran of the U.S. Marines with experience in state legislation. Bond is a family law attorney. Hoar is a recovering alcoholic and addict that now teaches in the field of special education.