2018-05-18 / Front Page

Primary 2018

Two Cape women vie for House seat


Mary Ann Lynch , far left and Anne Carney, will vie for the House District 30 seat that covers most of Cape Elizabeth. (Courtesy photos) Mary Ann Lynch , far left and Anne Carney, will vie for the House District 30 seat that covers most of Cape Elizabeth. (Courtesy photos) After squeaking out a special election win in 2011 by 176 votes – replacing Cynthia Dill, who had ascended to the Maine Senate in a separate special election – Democrat Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig won regular elections in 2012, 2014 and 2016, each time with an increasing margin of victory, capturing 67.9 percent of the vote in her last run. Although she did not serve four full terms Monaghan-Derrig was nonetheless compelled to sit this cycle out by Maine’s term limit law. Vying to replace her are two attorneys with long histories of public service in Cape Elizabeth. Ann Carney has served on the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Board of Directors for nine years, including three as its president. Meanwhile, Mary Ann Lynch, in addition to her many other volunteer activities, was on the town council from 2001 to 2008, logging two years as chairman.

Whichever woman wins the June 12 Democratic Party primary, will square off in November’s general election against Republican Charles Peter Rich, who is running unopposed in his primary.

House District 30 serves most of Cape Elizabeth except for a small section on the South Portland side of Spurwink Avenue above Eastman Road.

Candidate surveys for the two primary hopefuls are listed below, in alphabetical order.

Name: Anne Carney

Age: 55

Address: Angell Point Road (11 years), a Maryland native, Carney has lived in Cape Elizabeth 28 years, total.

Contact: Website: www.anneformaine.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/anneformaine/; email: anneformaine@gmail.com; Phone: 767-7404

Occupation: Not currently working at a paid job, but does not consider herself retired. Recent work history: Inhouse volunteer attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance (2009-2016); attorney at Portland law firm Norman, Hanson & DeTroy (1992-2009, nine years as an equity partner).

Family: Married to David Wennberg (30 years), with three adult children.

Education completed: Bachelors degree in religion from Haverford College (1984); Master of theological studies degree from Harvard University (1987); Law degree from University of Maine School of Law (1990).

Political experience: None.

Organizations and activities: Board member, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust (nine years, including three as president).

Why are you seeking elected office at this time?

In January 2019, Maine gets a fresh start. I would like to be part of a team of thoughtful, hard-working legislators who move Maine forward. My real-world legal expertise, knowledge of the issues that confront Mainers in every corner of our state, conservation experience, and strong commitment to the Cape Elizabeth community, will bring essential skills to that team and help us deliver tangible benefits to all Mainers.

Top three issues:

Affordable health care. This is a pressing issue for voters in Cape Elizabeth. The Legislature appointed a task force on health care to identify options for universal coverage and I look forward to its recommendations. Maine must implement Medicaid expansion. This will cover 70,000 Mainers and keep our rural hospitals economically viable. Expansion also increases Maine’s capacity to provide health services to seniors. For years our federal tax dollars have been paying for other states to expand Medicaid – it’s time to take care of Mainers.

With Medicaid expansion, Maine will still have 7,000 uninsured children. We can cover each child for about $1,700 a year. Preventative and primary care for these kids will save money. Quality health care for all children is both the right thing to do and cost-effective.

Affordable, effective treatment for substance use disorders is part of this issue, too. Medicaid expansion will bring resources throughout Maine to treat people with substance use disorders. We acted on naloxone access and treatment programs for mothers with a child under the age of 10. I’ll work to implement the “hub and spoke” program, a comprehensive statewide system for providing behavioral and medical care that has proven effective in other states.

Education funding/school safety. This is at the forefront for Cape voters. We can improve education funding several ways. I’ll support changes to the EPS formula to make it more fair for all districts. It’s essential, too, that the administration in Augusta commits to funding the state’s 55 percent share. Finally, we should ensure that tax relief programs like the Homestead exemption, and Property Tax Fairness Credit are fully funded. I also support Cape’s senior property tax relief proposal.

Preventing gun violence is a priority for Cape voters and for me. As an attorney, I have dealt with gun violence in a number of cases and understand how red flag laws can save lives. The Legislature has considered a bill to help identify people at risk of committing gun violence and temporarily remove their weapons pending a court hearing. If it doesn’t pass this year, I will strongly support it. We can also increase safety by banning high capacity magazines and assault rifles – the types of guns used in mass shootings in schools and workplaces. I’ll work to enact these safety measures.

Protecting the environment. In the words of one voter, “If we destroy our environment, nothing else matters.” Both Cape and Maine have a lot of coastline, and many aspects of our economy and culture will feel the impact of sea level rise, increased water temperature and ocean acidification. Climate change will continue to affect every part of our state, harming fall foliage and winter tourism, and increasing asthma and tick-borne diseases. The Legislature should bring a sense of urgency to reducing the use of fossil fuels.

We need strong conservation and environmental protection leadership in Augusta. As a conservation leader in Cape, I have concrete insight into how we can strengthen our laws to promote conservation and protect Maine’s natural resources, with an agenda that supports renewable energy, fuel-efficient transportation infrastructure, and our $6 billion outdoor recreation and tourism industry. One of my strengths is digging deep to understand complex situations and I would love to use these skills to help Maine develop an effective long-range and statewide strategy for reducing our fossil fuel consumption.

Why would you be a better choice than your opponent to represent your party?

I bring broad statewide experience to legislative service. Working with towns, businesses and individual clients all over Maine and in times of crisis, I learned much about the challenges Mainers face, their concerns and their values. My knowledge of Maine’s laws is based on a 360-degree view of the direct impact our laws have on the people in every corner of our state.

I also know the cultural richness of Maine. I’ve biked and camped in rural communities throughout Maine – I pitched a tent in right field on Lubec’s school baseball diamond and ate breakfast in the cafeteria. My legal work and personal experiences help me connect with lawmakers across the state and work as a team to accomplish changes in the law that will improve the lives of all Mainers.

Name: Mary Ann Lynch

Age: 62

Address: Olde Colony Lane (22 years), has lived in Cape Elizabeth 34 years total.

Contact: email: mlynch1@maine.rr.com; Phone: 232-1048; Facebook: search “Mary Ann Lynch for Cape Elizabeth.”

Occupation: Not currently working at a paid job, but does not consider herself retired. Recent work history: legislative liaison for Maine Judicial Branch (2008- 2017); vice president and general counsel for Maine Yankee (1990-2000); attorney at Portland law firm Verrill Dana (1984- 1990); special assistant to Gov. Joseph E. Brennan (1979-1981).

Family: Married to Gregg Ginn (34 years) with three adult children, one adult stepchild, and four grandchildren.

Education completed: Bachelors degree in political science from the University of Southern Maine (1978); law degree from the University of Maine School of Law (1984).

Past political experience: Cape Elizabeth Town Council (2001-2008, chairman in 2004 and 2008).

Organizations and activities: Member and volunteer, St. Bartholomew Church; member, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust; member and treasurer, King’s Grant Neighborhood Association. Former member of the Cape Elizabeth Comprehensive Plan Committee, Thomas Memorial Library Board of Trustees, Richards Pool Renovation Committee, Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee, Maine Municipal Association Legislative Committee, and Regional Waste System Board of Directors, as well as a former member and volunteer for various school and parent associations.

Why are you seeking elected office at this time?

I am running for one main reason: To put my experience in state and local government to work for the citizens of Cape Elizabeth. I have been enormously blessed to live and raise a family in one of the most beautiful towns on the planet – and to serve on the town council. I am seeking elected office at this time because I would like very much to continue to serve my community by working to protect and advance its interests Augusta. With my extensive experience, I am confident that I can do that job well, and that I will be ready on day one.

From knocking on over 1,200 doors and talking with many of my constituents, I know their priorities: enacting common-sense and long overdue gun control; increasing support for public education, including a stable and reliable school funding formula; protecting our environment; and expanding health care so that no one in Maine is without accessible and affordable health care. And these priorities will be my priorities.

As a first generation American and the oldest of 10 children of Irish immigrants, hard work comes naturally to me. My promise to the citizens of Cape Elizabeth is that I will work hard every day to listen to your concerns, I will be accessible to you, and I will be a strong voice for you in Augusta. I am prepared to work tirelessly to build a stronger Maine economy so that our children and our grandchildren have a bright future here.

Top three issues:

Guns/ I will use my years of experience working with the Legislature to focus like a laser on working to enact common-sense measures to ban assault weapons, bump stocks and high capacity magazines, and to close background check loopholes. We need to enact a red flag law that would permit a judge to order the temporary removal of guns from someone who presents an imminent threat to themselves or others. These measures are long overdue. An entire generation of children have grown up with the threat of gun violence in school and routine active shooter drills are now common place. School shootings are a horrific part of a tragic reality: Approximately 38,000 people are killed each year by guns in the U.S. (including 23,000 suicides). Enough is enough. I want to see Maine lead the nation on this issue.

If elected, I intend to submit legislation immediately after the election to be considered and thoroughly vetted in the first year of the next session. This will be for me a top priority until Maine has enacted meaningful legislation to protect our school children from gun violence.

Education. Neither of my parents, who were Irish immigrants, had the opportunity to get a high school education, but they understood and impressed upon their 10 children the value of education. I was the first member of my family to graduate from high school, college and law school, and I strongly support education from pre-K to college and beyond. I will work hard to fund the 55 percent state share, which has never been fully funded. That will not be easy. If it was, it would have been done by now.

I support greater partnership between the private sector and our schools so that schools are meeting the training and educational needs of employers. A strong education system is essential to attract the kinds of employers who will help Maine prosper.

In a year when the state Legislature increased general purpose aid to education by $165 million – on top of the approximately $1 billion already dedicated to local aid – no school district and local property tax payers should face a 40 percent cut, as Cape Elizabeth did this year. School districts and municipal governments deserve a reliable and stable funding formula and I will work to enact one.

Environment. We must protect Maine’s natural beauty and clean environment; they are the envy of the nation. Climate change is the issue of our time and Maine lost ground under the (Gov. Paul) LePage administration. Currently we receive 60 percent of net electric generation from renewables, including 15 percent from wind, and a small fraction from solar. I support legislation to bring Maine to 100 percent renewable energy by setting incremental goals, starting with a minimum five-year goal to double the amount of wind as a percentage of our net electric generation, and to increase solar electricity at least 10 fold.

Although it is largely a federal issue, I oppose Trump’s offshore drilling plans.

Water quality in Maine is deteriorating and we need to take appropriate action to reverse the trend. It is not only the right thing to do, but our $9 billion tourism industry depends on clean water and clean air.

Why would you be a better choice than your opponent to represent your party?

My opponent and I are not different on

the issues, however, I would be the better choice for two important reasons: My relevant experience and my decision to run as a Clean Election candidate.

I am a lifelong Democrat with extensive experience in state and local government. I have a solid record during my sevenand a-half years on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council of working across the aisle in support of such projects as the Shore Road Path, high school renovation, the kindergarten wing, online car registration and other initiatives that have improved the lives of Cape citizens, while remembering that every tax dollar comes from hard-working citizens and needs to be invested wisely. For the past nine years, while representing the Maine courts, I successfully worked with the Legislature on major legislative and budget initiatives, in an often hyper-partisan political environment. I understand well the legislative and budget processes, know many legislators and legislative staff, and know how to find common ground and shared values.

My legislative experience informed my decision to run as a Clean Election candidate. Money, especially since the Citizens United case, has corrupted our politics in both Augusta and Washington, D.C. I am running a clean campaign to do my small part to help restore integrity to the political process. If I have the privilege to serve in Augusta, I will always act in the best interests of the people of Cape Elizabeth and Maine, without regard to contributions from any special interests.

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