PORTLAND — Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, is now his party’s nominee in Senate District 28.
As a result, Democrat Heather Sanborn and Republican Jeffrey Langholtz are competing to replace him in the district covering northern Portland and western Falmouth.
Sanborn, 40, lives at 82 Frost Hill Road in Portland, is married and the mother of a 13-year-old son. She is a co-owner of Rising Tide Brewing Co, and has also practiced law and taught in Cape Elizabeth.
This is her first campaign for public office, but Sanborn has served on the quasi-governmental Portland Development Corp. and as president of the Maine Brewer’s Guild.
Langholtz, of 141 Virginia St. in Portland, did not respond to several telephone calls and emails about his candidacy.
Election Day is Nov. 8.
Sanbord said she has been hearing mixed views from voters. “I think when you are frustrated with the way decisions are made,” she said, “you can complain on Facebook, or you can step up to fix things.”
“I’m hearing a lot of frustration with the state of politics in Maine and nationally,” Sanborn said. “The other thing I’m hearing is, things are pretty good, people have jobs, people have houses that have appreciated (in value). Life is pretty good, aside from politics.”
Sanborn said she wants to act against Gov. Paul LePage for his comments about race and alleged drug dealers, and his profanity-laced voicemail to Westbrook Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine.
‘The racially charged language he has been using in regards to drug trafficking is not useful and his responses, off the cuff, have not shown leadership and not put Maine in a good light,” she said.
Sanborn emphasizes public health in fighting opioid use and overdoses, and wants naloxone, or Narcan, available more readily.
“I think any drug that can saves lives and is effective and safe is something we need more access to,” she said. “Putting drug users in jail is not helpful and putting drug traffickers in jail is not going to cut off demand.”
Sanborn supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president.
“I am excited to have somebody as qualified and incredibly intelligent as Hillary for president,” she said.
Sanborn favors the six statewide referendum questions, with reservations.
“I am still worried about how the regulation and enforcement may be set up,” she said about Question 1, which would tax and legalize marijuana.
Her support for Questions 2, an income tax increase to fund education, is tepid.
“This is another one where the Legislature and governor did not do what was required,” she said. “I don’t think tax policies should be made by referendum.”
Question 3 would require background checks for private firearms sales and transfers.
“I think the checks should be done before anyone is able to buy a gun. It is a loophole we should close,” she said. “There are some good safeguards in the legislation that will ensure families can continue to own guns and pass them down.”
Although she supports Question 4, to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, Sanborn isn’t thrilled with the proposal.
“A different compromise could have been struck on the tipped (wage) credit,” she said.
Sanborn also supports Question 5, for ranked choice voting, and the $100 million infrastructure bond in Question 6.