2016-10-14 / Community

City councilor challenges incumbent in Senate race

Kevin Battle Kevin Battle The race for District 33 in the Maine State House of Representatives, which serves the western side of South Portland – features a face-off between freshman Republican incumbent Kevin Battle and Democratic Party challenger Brad Fox, now in his second year on the South Portland City Council.

Candidate survey forms sent by The Sentry to each candidate are provided below, in alphabetical order. The surveys include contact information, should readers care to question the candidates further on their positions.

Name: Kevin J. Battle

Age: 58

Address: Sandy Hill Road

Phone: 831-6962

Email: kbattle688@aol.com

Occupation: Portland Harbor Master (serving Portland and South Portland); retired South Portland police officer (served 27 years); retired U.S. Coast Guard veteran (five and a half years active duty, 17.5 years as a reservist)

Brad Fox Brad Fox Family: Married

(35 years) with two adult children

Education completed: Maine Criminal Justice Academy; also attended several colleges

Political experience: Maine State House of Representatives (2014 to present)

Organizations and activities: South Portland Lions Club (member, threetime past president)

Top three issues:

1. Opioid addiction: Each and every day it is claiming lives and that is affecting everyone in Maine. We all need to work together to address and correct this. We need to help those that need the help, not just lock up and forget them.

2. Create and promote good paying jobs with good benefits – not just minimum wage, but living wage jobs that our residents will be proud of doing.

3. Protect and support our senior citizens. They should not have to worry about staying in their homes, having enough to eat, or getting the proper medical treatment and medications needed.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I can honestly say I did as promised. I represented the residents of South Portland in Augusta. I listened to those that called me or emailed me and voted the way the residents told me that they wanted on key items. I still do not have an agenda or ax to grind. I worked, and will gladly continue to work again, with other representatives on both sides of isle. I have spent my whole adult life working with people, helping people and watching over people. I have served one term and learned a lot, I believe I can do a lot of good with what I have learned for those in District 33 in South Portland as well as the residents of Maine.

If you could change one thing about the state or your legislative district, what would it be and how would you do it?

I would love to establish a better or more direct line of communications with those that live in District 33. I have returned calls, emails, stopped and spoken to people and sent out surveys all through the district, but I wish I could hear more from you as to what you want from your representative. It takes considerable commitment, time and travel to do the job right. I committed to doing it right and will continue to do so properly and fully.

Name: Brad Fox
Age: 68
Address: Rollins Way

Phone: 712-0664

Email: bfox@southportland.org

Occupation: Substitute teacher (former alternative school principal in California)

Family: Two adult daughters

Education completed: Master’s degree in educational leadership from California State University.

Political Experience: South Portland City Council (2014 to present)

Organizations and activities: Various nonprofit organizations and government appointments over the years.

Top three issues:

1. The health, safety and wellbeing of all Mainers is my number one priority. It’s imperative that we protect our endangered environment in an age of climate change. Coastal flooding, warming and acidified waters, and other changes may affect Mainer’s very livelihoods and their property. We need to plan ahead to prevent disasters from occurring, and have well thought out follow-up plans for emergencies.

2. I will work hard to ensure that every Maine student receives a high quality K-12 education, and that an affordable college education is available to each and every one of them. I want us to provide the most up-to-date technical education for all students, so they’re prepared for the jobs of the future.

3. We must keep our property tax burden low for everyone, but especially our vulnerable seniors. The governor’s plans to end the income tax would do the exact opposite. It would shift the burden of taxation to property owners, rather than having wealthier Mainers pay their fair share.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I will work hard on the issues that all Mainers care about: A quality education for all students, protecting our environment and our health and safety, keeping our property tax burden low, and creating the space for innovative businesses and industries with new technologies to develop here in Maine.

I support the ballot measures to establish a 3 percent tax on household income over $200,000 to support our schools, to require specific background checks for gun sales and transfers, to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, and to establish statewide ranked-choice voting. I intend to advocate for them. I also want to bring back last session’s solar bill, which is vitally important to Maine’s energy future. I’ve supported South Portland’s move toward solar with our proposed solar energy farm.

I’ve been endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Maine People’s Alliance, the Maine Education Association, and the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 / SEIU. More endorsements are forthcoming.

If you could change one thing about the state or your legislative district, what would it be and how would you do it?

I would change governors. That would have the greatest positive impact on the lives of all Mainers. I’m calling on the governor to resign now or I will work for his removal from office in the Legislature. As the Washington Post said in a recent editorial: “A three ring binder has now exposed the three-ring circus of unhinged racism and ravings that are the hallmarks of Maine’s governor, Paul LePage.”

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