State House District 38 Candidates

District includes Ellsworth, Otis and Trenton.

Matthew J. Foster

Age: 43

Residence: Ellsworth

Party: Republican

Present Employment: Attorney in private practice in Ellsworth

Highest Level of Education Completed: Law degree from Suffolk University Law School

Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: Ellsworth city councilor (three years)

Why Are You Running for Office?

I am running for representative to the Legislature for District 38; the city of Ellsworth, and the towns of Otis and Trenton. I believe that it is every citizen’s duty to get involved in their government if they are able. Although I am extremely busy with my business and my family with a 9-month-old daughter, I want to fulfill my duty as a citizen of this great state as a member of the Legislature.

I believe that if more qualified and concerned citizens step up and run for office, there is a better chance that our government will be made up of people who will fight for this state and its citizens in a thoughtful, meaningful and informed manner. I simply want the chance to do my part; to serve the people of my community.

As a lawyer, it is my job to interpret and implement the laws that are made by our Legislature and apply them to everyday situations. Sometimes the laws make sense in actual application, and other times they don’t work as intended. There should be more legislators who are trained as legal professionals working in Augusta to make and shape the laws.

I believe that our state government is now headed in the right direction. It is beginning to live within its means. It is beginning to be accountable for its actions. It is beginning to make sense. We all need to be supportive of this new direction and do everything we can to keep up the good work. I want to put my legal experience and training to work and be there to support the state’s new conservative direction.

I also have the unique opportunity, as a practicing lawyer, to see and experience the effects of policy and law. I represent clients in areas such as criminal law, family law, DHHS cases, protection from abuse matters and many other areas. My clients experience the actual effects of policies and laws.

The law affects the benefits parents receive in DHHS matters, it affects criminal penalties imposed under laws with mandatory sentencing, and it affects the way domestic violence is handled in connection with family law, criminal law, protection from abuse matters and federal law. It is confusing and we need legislators who have experience with how laws affect actual people, not just statistics.

Government has always interested me. During my time at Ellsworth High School, I participated in a program called “Model State” for three consecutive years. In that program, students played the parts of all the elected and appointed positions in state government. We went to Augusta, sat in the actual legislators’ seats, and passed laws that the students drafted.

It was an amazing experience and I have always hoped to return to Augusta as an elected member of the Legislature. I find myself in a position to finally pursue that dream, and I hope to do so with the support of the voters on Nov. 6, 2012! Thank you!

Louis “Louie” Luchini

Age: 31

Residence: Ellsworth

Party: Democrat

Present Employment: Assistant cross-country coach, Ellsworth High School

Highest Level of Education Completed: Bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University

Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: State representative (two years)

Why Are You Running for Office?

I’ve been honored to serve as state representative over the past two years, and am excited to run for re-election. I’m running for many of the same reasons that brought me into politics two years ago.

I was born and raised in Ellsworth. I received a great education in our schools, spent countless hours at the YMCA, and received tremendous community support throughout my running career. I was fortunate to continue my education at Stanford University, after which I was able to travel and train all over the world as a professional runner with Nike.

I’m running for re-election because I’d like to give back to this community, which has given me so much. I want our younger generations to understand the tremendous opportunities that are within their reach. We, as a state, must do our best to provide them with the tools.

Over the past two years, I’ve talked with many Mainers who have to work two or three jobs to pay the bills. And as I’ve grown older, I’ve watched many of my classmates leave the area, or state, in search of better jobs. We must create jobs — and careers — here in Maine. On the other end of the spectrum, we must establish Maine as an ideal place to retire.

Below, I will outline some of my major priorities for the next session:

Jobs and the economy: Getting Maine’s unemployed back to work is paramount. Removing impediments to small business will not only help our existing businesses thrive and grow, but also attract new ones. From conversations with small business owners, major goals are to lower health insurance rates, energy costs, unnecessary regulations and the income tax rate. By encouraging business growth, we broaden our tax base and increase state revenues. Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs while increasing access to our businesses.

Education: Providing a top-notch education will best prepare our kids for the future, while making Maine attractive to young families. Studies have consistently demonstrated that investing in pre-K education better prepares kids for the future. Screening young children is also a sound investment, identifying problems early, and reducing special education costs further down the road. We must uphold the integrity of our public school system, ensuring that all children are given the opportunity to succeed. Job-related technical schools and college should be accessible to all students, regardless of income.

Health care costs: This remains one of the largest burdens on Maine families and businesses. Implementing interstate insurance options will increase competition and lower premium prices.

Fiscal responsibility and government accountability: It is no surprise that our government needs to operate more efficiently. We need to analyze each state department and agency for duplication and inefficiencies, eliminating wasteful spending. The problems in DHHS, for example, have been completely unacceptable, sending millions in benefits to those who do not qualify.

For more political news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Fenceviewer Staff

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