PORTLAND — Incumbent state Rep. Peter Stuckey, a Democrat, is running for a second term representing HouseDistrict 114. His competitor, Republican Patrick Calder, is making his first run for public office.
District 114 includes East Deering, the east side of Washington Avenue to Falmouth, and the islands.
Calder, 28, is a merchant marine working on a cruise ship as the engineering officer. He lives on Stepping Stone Lane.
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate said the state needs to reform the way its programs are managed. The welfare system, he said, should be tiered so people can be “weened off,” as opposed to having to decide between receiving welfare and working a job that doesn’t quite make ends meet.
“That will bring unemployment down, as well,” Calder said.
He said he would like to see the state sales tax lowered to 4.5 percent, and have a local-options sale tax adopted.
“There would have to be assurances that (the local sales tax) is used to lower property taxes,” Calder said.
The first-time candidate said he also wants to improve accountability and transparency in Augusta. He said the state website should be easier to use.
“For example, there should be a big red button that links to all the bills and how each legislator voted,” Calder said.
Rep. Peter Stuckey
Stuckey, 63, is a Vaill Street resident. He is married to Michelle Stuckey, and the couple have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Stuckey serves on the Health and Human Services Committee and said he is interested in continuing to work on making the state circuit breaker more robust and increasing the earned income tax credit.
He said that the state would be better off investing in the community college system and in early childhood education than in offering tax credits to businesses.
“Those are under financed,” he said of community colleges and preschools.
Stuckey said he is also interested in getting the annual tax expenditure report into the budget review process. He said the report includes 350 items that are simply approved for funding each year, without review.
Several of the items included result in million-dollar tax breaks for specific Maine companies, he said.
“We need to get review of that in the budget process,” Stuckey said.
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Rep. Peter Stuckey