Democrats rallied around incumbent Holly Stover of House 89 and House District 88 Representative Chloe Maxmin Oct. 3. Stover is seeking reelection and Maxmin is seeking the Senate District 13 seat against incumbent Dana Dow. Over 60 attendees spread across the Boothbay common to hear the candidates and other Democrats speak: District Attorney Natasha Irving, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office's Chief Deputy Lieutenant Rand Maker, Lincoln County Democratic Chair Chris Johnson and Boothbay Democratic Committee Chair Paula Arsenault.
Speakers addressed current issues, each candidate’s strengths and how they said Lincoln County Democrats stand for a step forward in representing the county in Augusta. Irving and Maker spoke to the importance of progressive policy for effective and responsible law enforcement and Johnson and Arsenault spoke to the importance of supporting U. S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and presidential/vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Maxmin said the polarization between Democrats and Republicans has been far worse than in 2018.
“Everyone was kind of divided then, but people are really divided and angry now. It's really sad and scary to watch that happen, but I think it also gives us so much opportunity to say it does not have to be this way and we all deserve a better way forward based on kindness, respect, and actual representation. That's our opportunity this year.”
Maxmin said she ran for House 88 because she felt while politics is broken, it is still a system the people need and those running for local office need to think more critically about election season. Going door to door and speaking on a personal level helped tip the scale in her favor in a district with 27% Democrats, Maxmin said. She also said she hopes her collaboration with constituents on four bills including Maine's Green New Deal will show all of District 13 she represents her constituents fully.
When COVID-19 hit and campaigns came to a screeching halt, Maxmin decided to use her campaign’s resources to support seniors by helping with food security, prescriptions and transportation. “It's an amazing network we unleashed and a network we're still using today to get people rides. It clarified the real needs of our community, who falls through the cracks and why.”
Stover said her most important work since taking office in 2019 has been fighting for the environment through the elimination of single-use plastic bags and for what she described as an overdue Medicaid expansion which ended up putting 70,000 Mainers back on Mainecare and, among many demographics, provided lifesaving treatment to those suffering through opioid addiction.
“More than one person a day (was) dying without the ability to access healthcare … so, in the worst pandemic we've had in our lifetimes, we should not be questioning whether or not we want to get rid of subsidized healthcare, the ACA or Medicaid expansion … Even though we have ranks of people dying from overdoses during this pandemic, we need to look at the fact that we've saved how many lives by having access to treatment.”