2016-10-28 / Community

Election 2016

District 31 in South Portland is uncontested

The election for District 31 in the Maine State House of Representatives –which serves easternmost South Portland, including the Knightville, Ferry Village and Willard Square neighborhoods – is uncontested. Republican Colton Gross made it through the primary, but withdrew on July 8. The GOP then failed to meet a July 25 deadline to name a replacement candidate. That leaves Democrat Lois Galgay Rickett as the only name on the ballot to replace Terry Morrison, a fellow Democrat termed out after eight years in office.

No candidate met the Sept. 9 deadline to file as a declared write-in candidate. That means, by state law, any votes not cast for Reckitt will be thrown out.

Name: Lois Galgay Reckitt

Age: 71

Address: Myrtle Avenue, South Portland

Phone: 712-2474

Email: lreckitt@maine.rr.com

Occupation: Retired nonprofit social service administrator

Family: Married, five grandchildren

Education completed: Master’s degree in marine biology from Boston University

Elected experience: None

Organizations and activities: Family Crisis Services (36 years); Maine Women’s Lobby (co-founder and former board member); Maine Irish Heritage Center (board member); National Organization for Women (long time volunteer and former national officer); Human Right Campaign Fund (co-founder); Maine Women’s Fund (former board member); Maine Criminal Justice Academy (former trustee)

Top three issues:

1. Criminal justice. My years of working in collaboration with Maine’s criminal justice system at all levels – judiciary, prosecutors, police and jail personnel, as well as with victims and survivors of domestic violence – has brought me a clear understanding of improvements that might well be needed.

2. The marine environment. Although the bulk of my working life has been engaged in services for victims of violence, my education and teaching experience has been in the area of marine biology. In fact, my expertise in sand dune ecology was utilized in my volunteer work with Friends of Willard Beach. I have loved the sea all of my life and am worried about every aspect of it right now – from acidification of the seas, pollution, effects of global warming on Maine as well as the livelihood of those who now are able to make their living from the sea.

3. North-south issues. I am very concerned about the perceived rift between northern and southern (not to mention western) neighbors in Maine. We all live here because we care about life here as well as the future of the state and each other. I hope to seek ways to bridge the divides through understanding and collaboration. This could take a lot of forms – sister city/town collaborations; deepening of cross cultural understanding; developing increased knowledge of the regional land, jobs, small businesses – in short – what we can and must do to support each other.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I am running for representative in District 31, the ocean end of South Portland. I have lived in my home for 46 years. Fortunately for me, at the time the area was so polluted I could afford to buy a home. As I watched the neighborhood restore itself and its environment over many decades, I have grown to love South Portland.

To participate directly in the politics of Maine has been my dream and goal for decades. After retiring from Family Crisis Services, I have the time capacity to do so. For years I have worked as a volunteer to bring attention to issues critical to women, children and families as a whole to Augusta. Now I want to bring my voice as well.

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 work to restore civility and enhance collaborative efforts. Frankly, both modes are a central part of my character and way of working.

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