Two years ago, when Karl Ward first ran for the Legislature to represent District 131 (Verona Island, Prospect, Stockton Springs, Orland, Penobscot, Dedham and Otis), he met my mother, Gerry Baxter, at her home on Verona Island. Karl is a great listener, and he asks questions. He stayed for over an hour. I hear this is commonplace for him.
My mom was suffering from terminal cancer. He shared that every member in his own family has had cancer except for him. It took his own father.
A few weeks later, Karl explained that if elected, he would push for a new law — called “Right to Try” — to give Mainers with terminal illness a chance to try Tier One-level FDA-approved drugs that were not currently permitted in our state. Several other states were pushing for this as well. Karl had done his research and felt confident we could pass it in Maine.
After his landslide victory, he co-sponsored the bill with a Democrat (this is commonplace for him too), and my mom wrote testimony for him to present in Augusta for her. The local NBC affiliate even came and interviewed them at mom’s home! In an inspirational floor speech in the House of Representatives, his voice cracked with emotion as he spoke of those the bill might help.
It passed overwhelmingly in both chambers and is now law. His only regret is that mom didn’t live to see it happen. We lost her last December.
Last spring, Karl had mom formally acknowledged in the House of Representatives. Shortly afterward, he presented to me a beautiful “Legislative Memoriam” signed by the speaker and Senate president. I hear he has done this a few times as well. He told me that my mom was, is and will always be an inspiration to him.
We are lucky to have a man like Karl Ward willing to serve us in Augusta. He truly cares about Maine and its people. Vote for him on Nov. 8 so he can continue working for us.
Gail Baxter Creath