Senator Stacey Guerin and Andrea Thurlow are running for District 4 in the Maine Senate

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When Piscataquis County voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, they will choose a Maine State Senate candidate to represent District 4.

When Piscataquis County voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, they will choose a Maine State Senate candidate to represent District 4.

The candidates are State Senator Stacey Guerin, a Republican seeking re-election, and Andrea Thurlow, a Democrat who walked out of the Democratic primary election in June.

Guerin
Thurlow

Guerin represents Senate District 10, which includes Carmel, Corinna, Corinth, Dixmont, Etna, Exeter, Glenburn, Hampden, Hudson, Kenduskeag, Levant, Newburgh, Newport, Plymouth and Stetson. She took office in December 2018 and is a member of the Labor and Housing Committees. Guerin’s term ends on December 7.

Guerin is a former member of the Maine House of Representatives, representing District 102 from 2010 to 2018. She was unable to seek re-election in 2018 due to term limits.

Republican Paul Davis represents District 4, but he is not seeking re-election. District 4 includes Piscataquis County, as well as Alton, Athens, Bradford, Brighton Plantation, Cambridge, Charleston, Detroit, Dexter, Garland, Harmony, Hartland, Lagrange, Palmyra, Ripley, and St. Albans.

The Senate seat is for a two-year term, with a four-term limit.

The following questions were asked of the candidates. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Guérin declined to participate.

Last name: Andrea Thurlow

Age: 73 years old

Party Membership: Democrat

Why are you running for election?

Thurlow: A former educator, I have witnessed how poverty and lack of post-secondary education affect families and their ability to thrive. Piscataquis County has the highest poverty rate in the state, and I don’t think there has been enough effort to address this issue at the state level. The high rate of food insecurity is directly linked, making many families dependent on food cupboards to survive. As chairman of the Piscataquis County Democrats Service Committee, our mission has been to focus on this enormous challenge. We committed to this mission and raised over $3,600, as well as an abundance of food for area food cupboards. If elected, I would support programs that allow families to thrive, work to reduce food insecurity, and ensure there are more post-secondary education opportunities, such as community colleges or technology training centers. and professionalism of the highest order in our county. Poverty and lack of education are closely linked. It is imperative that our legislators work in all corridors to support bills and programs that enable our citizens to thrive, not just survive.

Education:

Thurlow: I graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln in 1967 and

University of Maine at Orono in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics.

Use:

Thurlow: Owner and teacher at a state-approved kindergarten in Kenduskeag de

1980 to 1983, Chapter 1 tutor, second grade and kindergarten teacher at Regional School Unit 68 from 1984 to retirement in 2011.

Tell us about your family:

Thurlow: I have been married for 51 years to Rollin Thurlow, who operates the

Northwoods Canoe Co. in Atkinson. I am co-owner and treasurer of the business we have operated for over 40 years. Our son, Adam, and his wife have three children: Isabella, Henry and Charlie. They live in Essex, Massachusetts. Our daughter, Krista, lives in Dover-Foxcroft and has two children, Iziah and Jonathan, who reside in Bangor.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities?

Thurlow: Two priorities I would talk about are interrelated: our high poverty rate and our limited aspirations for post-secondary education. If elected, I would support and promote programs that develop strategies for working with families living in poverty. Through mentorship, these programs would equip participants with the skills to succeed at home and at work. Education, training and assistance in finding jobs that help them out of poverty would be crucial elements. A promising development, still in the planning stages, would be a Regional Comprehensive High School for grades 9-14 in our area. The additional two years of high school would provide a top-notch community college or technical and vocational education. Apart from the construction costs being covered by the state, another plus point is that it has strong support from the companies as they need skilled workers. If this becomes a reality, it would be a huge boost in enabling students in our county to have successful careers after graduation. My third priority would be to bring the Department of Health and Human Services office and the Office of Motor Vehicles back with its monthly appointments to our area. It is a hardship and a struggle for our residents to travel to Bangor for help, as many have to miss work.

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