Profiles of Michael Michaud and Kevin Raye.
Michael H. Michaud
Residence: East Millinocket
Present Employment: Member of United States Congress
Highest Level of Education Completed: Schenck High School, East Millinocket
Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: State representative (14 years), state senator (eight years) and United States congressman (10 years)
Why Are You Running for Office?
One of the main reasons I first ran for office in the Maine State Legislature was because I thought the Penobscot River was in dire need of a cleanup. I felt that there could be a balance between jobs and the environment. To make a long story short, we found that balance by setting goals, working together, and finding common ground between the two parties.
I have served Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington, D.C., for five consecutive terms, and I think that I continue to help make a difference with that same approach: setting goals, working together and finding common ground.
In Washington, I am constantly fighting for Maine’s veterans, fighting for Maine small businesses, fighting for Maine manufacturers, fighting for Maine farmers and fighting for Maine. I continue to see positive results of this fight from one end of the 2nd District to the other, including the establishment of Community-Based Outpatient Clinics so our veterans can get care closer to home, and writing the law to create the Northern Border Regional Commission, an economic development agency focused on the border regions in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
But there is still plenty more work to do. I promise to continue to reach across the aisle and work together with my colleagues to find common ground on difficult decisions. I promise to continue to push back against members of my own party — yes, including President Obama — if it is in the best interests of Mainers.
I worked for 29 years in the East Millinocket mill and I will never forget where I came from, and what my main objectives are as a congressman from Maine: to work every day to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Maine.
There is no question that Washington is broken. But, I have experience both in Augusta and in Washington to work together for the best solution, not for partisanship or for political gain.
My track record is one of honesty, integrity and hard work, and I believe that is the type of track record that the people of Maine want from their representatives in Washington.
Kevin L. Raye
Present Employment: Owner/operator of Raye’s Mustard Mill
Highest Level of Education Completed: Bachelor’s degree in political science from Bates College
Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: State senator (eight years)
Why Are You Running for Office?
I am running for office because I think we need a change in Washington. Washington is broken and we need strong leadership to ensure Maine’s interests are represented effectively. I have a proven record of working across party lines to get things done.
I spent 17 years working for Sen. Olympia Snowe, including 11 years as her state director helping veterans and senior citizens cut through red tape and six and a half years as her chief of staff in Washington. I learned from Olympia the importance of working hard to find agreement between the two parties rather than focusing on our differences. That is what I did as Senate president in Augusta, and that is what I will do in Washington.
I have spent the last eight years representing Downeast Maine in the State Senate, including the last two years as Senate president. When I was elected Senate president, I was unanimously elected by both Republicans and Democrats.
I took my responsibility very seriously, working to ensure that nearly every major policy decision that was made had bipartisan support in the Senate. Together, we were able to pass the largest tax cut in Maine history, landmark regulatory reform, health insurance reform, welfare reform, increased funding for education, and we reduced state debt by $1.7 trillion.
As a small business owner, I understand what is required to create and sustain jobs and to meet a payroll. I know how difficult it is for small businesses to deal with the stacks of paperwork necessary to meet burdensome government regulations.
Small businesses are Maine’s largest job creators, and, as the sponsor of Maine’s regulatory reform law, I will continue to work to help relieve the federal regulatory burden on small business without putting our environment at risk. Regulatory agencies should become guides to help businesses meet governmental requirements rather than act as a hammer, slamming them with overzealous penalties.
I have always provided strong support for small businesses in Maine, which make up 99 percent of all business in the state. My efforts have earned me a 100 percent rating from the National Federation of Independent Business, which is in stark contrast to my opponent, having received a zero. This means that he voted against small business on every issue of importance.
I have a proven record of working to help businesses create and maintain jobs. I have worked to help Woodland Pulp Mill access lower-cost energy to help preserve jobs. I have worked to pass bonds which provide support for jobs at ports in Eastport and Searsport. I worked hard to change tax laws in order to make Maine more attractive to the growing aviation industry, and I introduced the new Maine New Markets Tax Credit to create new jobs like those at the torrefied wood pellet facility in Millinocket.
If elected to Congress I will work hard to be a stronger voice for Maine in Washington.