PORTLAND — Republican Jeffrey Martin is challenging incumbent state Sen. Joseph Brannigan, D-Portland, in Senate District 9.
District 9 represents the Back Cove, Deering, North Deering and East Deering neighborhoods and part of the city of Westbrook.
Sen. Joseph Brannigan
Brannigan, 79, has served seven terms in the House and is wrapping up his second consecutive term in the Senate. He previously served four terms.
Brannigan lives on Concord Street, is married and for 34 years was executive director of Shalom House in Portland.
He said balancing the budget is the biggest issue he sees. He said he is unsure how the state can generate a substantial amount of new revenue and is concerned about further cuts to social services.
He served as chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee this year and said elder care is an issue he is very interested in.
“We have home-based care versus funding assisted living or residential care,” Brannigan said. “That’s where people want to be. At home. There are over 1,000 people waiting for (state) assistance with that.”
As a chairman of the state’s task force to implement the new health reforms, Brannigan said if re-elected he will be working hard to make sure state agencies are ready for the reforms.
He said he would also like to get more data on high costs associated with health care, specifically what hospitals are charging for.
“We need to look at hospital cost controls,” he said.
Martin, 39, is a Hope Avenue resident and owns Foreside Real Estate Management. He is married to Kirsten Martin and has two young children.
Martin said the state’s budget is fiscally unsustainable. He said Maine needs to bring spending down so it is in line with national averages or at least with similar states.
“Our state services are a dead-end to dependency,” said Martin, a University of Southern Maine graduate. He said he favors a five-point welfare system that works to get people off of services.
Martin said LD1 is based too heavily on property taxes, and should be revised to take per-capita income into account more. That change, he said, would benefit Portland schools and property owners.
As a Republican, Martin said he could provide a different voice in Augusta for Portland residents.
“For a long time, we’ve had a block of the same party (representing) Portland, and Augusta has gotten used to that,” he said.
Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Joseph Brannigan