Fri, Sep 19, 2014 ●
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Letter: Rep. Saxton explains his roll-call absences

Opinion

Letter: Rep. Saxton explains his roll-call absences

I fully agree that the people of House District 64 deserve a good representative and an explanation for my 72.1 percent roll call attendance.

Less than one year ago, I had a heart pacemaker installed after dozens of episodes in which I fainted and my heart stopped beating. This surgery required many follow-up appointments with specialists. So, at the beginning of session, I did miss some votes in the House due to medical reasons.

Toward the end of session, bills return to the House for a series of rapid-fire procedural votes. In one day, a legislator could miss dozens of procedural votes due to the pace. I work for my family’s very busy marina and restaurant and I had promised them I would be back full time after the statutory adjournment on June 19. The legislative session stretched into July and I found myself juggling my legislative work with my work that sustains my family and pays the bills. This is a struggle that I think most people in our region are familiar with.

In fact, after running the kitchen at the restaurant one busy night I received a call from my caucus leader that my vote was needed. I jumped into my car and drove to Augusta at 10:45 p.m. to cast two votes. I was happy to be able to do both jobs that night.

It’s possible that I may never achieve a perfect 100 percent attendance record, but the trade-off is that I am a real person who has similar challenges as the people I serve. I’m proud to serve in Maine’s citizen Legislature and I hope that my constituents know that I will continue to represent them to the best of my ability.

Rep. Jeremy Saxton
Harpswell