2012-10-26 / Community

Election 2012

The race in House District 121 is between two Cape Elizabeth candidates who also faced off in a special election in summer. Incumbent Democrat Kim Monaghan-Derrig defeated Republican Nancy Thompson last year in the race to fill the seat vacated by Cynthia Dill, who moved on to the Maine Senate and is now running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. This November, Thompson hopes to win the District 121 seat from incumbent Monaghan-Derrig. District 121 includes most of the town, save for a small portion that abuts South Portland. Their candidate surveys appear below in alphabetical order.

Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig

Age: 53

Occupation: State representative, tourism marketing manager

Marital status: Married, Kevin Derrig

Children/family: One daughter, 12.

Highest Level of education completed: Master of Public Policy and Management, USM Muskie School of Public Service, 2011

Name and location of school or university last attended: University of Southern Maine, Portland

Organizations and activities: Current Legislative service: 2011-2012; Legislative Committee: Judiciary; Current Selection Panel member, Maine Wabanaki - State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission; Cape Elizabeth School Board, 2010-2012; board member, Maine State Ballet,1999-2010; volunteer, Cape Elizabeth Middle School, Pond Cove School, 2005-current; volunteer, St. Bartholomew Church, 2007-2010. Prior volunteer and community service spans more than 15 years.

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1. Improving the Maine economy. All Mainers want good American jobs, wages and benefits for a hard day’s work, yet since 2010, we’ve seen the state’s economy shrink, not grow. I believe the best way to improve the economy is by making common sense investments that will help and promote Maine businesses; particularly the small-to-midsize companies. Some examples include providing workforce training to match employee skills with employer needs, supporting traditional industries like logging, tourism, farming and fishing and fostering job growth in clean energy, biotech and other emerging sectors. To further support Maine businesses, we need to have safe roads and bridges able to move goods and services, as well as vibrant communities that will foster growth. Like many lawmakers, I urge the governor to authorize the $40 million in bonds that the voters of Maine already approved. These bonds are specifically aimed to build, fix and repair current roads and bridges and also to help communities develop their downtowns by creating jobs and attracting new businesses.

2. Education. Investing in education must run in sync with improving Maine’s economy. It is our responsibility to provide the best possible public education for every one of our Maine students. A strong public education is essential to vibrant communities and a strong economy. We must work hard to move our public education system forward so it meets the demand of the changing economy. And with that, we must offer respect and support for our teachers by providing them with innovative learning tools and professional learning opportunities.

3. Tax fairness. There were more than 50 tax-related bills passed by this Legislature. My opponent makes claims of bipartisanship on the passage of these bills when the truth is very much the opposite. Several of the tax reform bills added up to a huge tax shift away from the top and onto everyone else, including our municipalities. As Democrats, we offered multiple alternatives that prevented the tax shift, brought greater tax reductions to the middle class and prevented future budget gaps. Several of our amendments to benefit more Mainers more responsibly were voted down strictly along party lines. We need to tax fairly and cut wisely, not tax the middle class and cut services to our children, seniors and public safety.

Why are you running for elected office?

I am running for re-election because I believe strongly in public service and want to continue to help make a positive and progressive difference for Cape Elizabeth and for our state of Maine. I believe the success of a legislator lies squarely in the values and beliefs of their constituents – and the ability to work across the aisle.

As lawmakers, we must work together to move Maine in the right direction. I believe the governor’s extreme agenda has taken this state in the wrong direction and I think there are many lawmakers, including moderate Republicans, who feel the same way. As I’ve mentioned in other articles, Maine’s motto, Dirigo, means “to lead.” The motto reflects the character and beliefs of Mainers. We must lead forward, not backwards.

If re-elected, I will work to put aside the politics and posturing and work together to build economic prosperity and tax fairness, a strong public education, a clean and safe environment, taking care of children and the elderly and respecting the rights of all.

During my term in the Legislature, I earned a 98 percent score in attendance and voting, and have recently received endorsements from several leading Maine nonpartisan, environmental, educational, civil rights and women’s organizations. I’d like the honor of your vote for re-election to serve a full two-year term.

Nancy E. Thompson

Age: 54

Occupation: Insurance agent; Living Wealth Partners, Portland, 16 years.

Marital status: Married for 31 years to Tim Thompson, five children, one deceased (ages 21-30)

Education: Paralegal program, Bentley College; attended Boston College; graduated Katharine Gibbs, Boston

Organizations and activities: Current president of the Center for Grieving Children Board of Directors, six years; past president, Junior League of Portland, active member for over 20 years and President’s Award recipient; Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation board member (2007-2010); Cape Elizabeth soccer, basketball and lacrosse boosters (1995-2009); Founder of the Annual CEEF Thompson Award and CEHS Lacrosse Team Spirit Award in memory of Timmy Thompson; Cape Elizabeth school parent volunteer for 21 years; 12 years CCD teacher, St. Bartholomew’s Church; trainer, Trauma Intervention Program Volunteers, Portland Police Department; advisory council, Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program; National Alliance on Mental Illness, speakers’ bureau for “Voices of Suicide Survivors,” and presenter for the Crisis Intervention Training for police departments through Maine; recipient of Volunteers of America Award.

The top three issues

Jobs, taxes and education. People are fearful of the economy and worry about the future of their children. These are the most pressing concerns I have heard while knocking on the doors of Cape Elizabeth residents. As a legislator, I will work hard to improve Maine’s educational system because I am passionate about quality education for our children. I would address the problem of getting a quality education for all of our students regardless of the school district they reside in. Today a vast difference exists between our best performing districts and our poorest performing districts. I will also work hard to improve the climate for Maine’s entrepreneurs and business owners so that our young people can stay in Maine to work and raise their families. Our children go off to college and come back to Maine with huge loans and no jobs to pay those loans off.

As a legislator, I will work hard to support entrepreneurs and business owners by streamlining regulation and tax environment. I will also work to build a bridge between business owners and workers to prepare them for the jobs that are created. And lastly, I will also continue to work to lower Maine’s tax burden so our retirees can afford to stay in Maine and remain a vital part of our community. Maine’s tax burdens have driven most of our seniors from their homes and away from grandchildren who live here.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I believe that it is the right time for me to “give back” to the community of Cape Elizabeth that has provided me and my family with so much. I feel very fortunate to have been able to raise my children in a town that values education and continually supports our schools and has prepared my kids well for college. I have a community volunteer record and business background that are both extensive and hard earned. I am ready to “roll up my sleeves” to work hard to handle the complex issues and challenging workload of a state representative.

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