My name is April Turner, and I hope to represent our community as state representative for District 99 by your votes in this election. When I ran for office in 2016, I couldn't know that my bid to replace my opponent would span three full election cycles. I am grateful for the support I have received in the last five years as I've continued to connect with all of you through service to our community.

I come from a long line of Waldo County residents and have been committed to living, working, and raising my kids right here. Craig and I graduated from Mount View in the late 90s and remained here to raise our four boys. I have volunteered and worked in nearly every part of our community: leading Jobs for Maine Graduates as a chapter president in 1997, substitute teaching, coaching the Freedom Farm team and providing in-home care and mental health services. I've been an adult leader with Cub Scouts and 4H. I have served as a member of the Freedom Fire Department Auxiliary and helped organize the Take It Outside Ice Fishing event at Lake St. George for the past 11 years.

We live in one of the most beautiful rural counties in Maine, and you and I know that we have unique experiences living here. We also know unique struggles: funding our schools, building a salt shed, finding a strong cell signal or quality internet services, attaining support for ourselves and family members affected by substance use disorders, increasing property taxes, and what we will do when the power goes out for a week in the winter.

This year, we learned something new: How to survive a pandemic. The strengths of our community are in the people who live here. That's part of the reason why many of us chose to stay here and raise our families. Some say there are more cows than people in our community; for me, the people in our community matter — not the cows' ratio to people. From stocking food pantries, raising money for medical bills, or watching each other's children, we share what we have. I've seen my friends and neighbors come together even when we couldn't be physically near. I'm proud of the work everyone is doing to keep our community safe.

I became a social worker because I wanted to find new ways to help. I chose to work in Mental Health because I see the connection between people who feel healthy and our communities' health. I also believe that when we are fully healthy, we can help those around us. My career has allowed me to serve my clients and their families and advocate for community health.

For us, serving our community means protecting our elderly, our children, and the very poor who are our friends and neighbors. It means finding solutions to improve health care, mental health care, and food insecurity. It means helping our towns build resilience against the next crisis. I will focus on these issues and the work we need to do in Augusta to meet these needs. I have no self-interests that would blind me to residents' needs in our community because our lives are so similar.

I value the trust you put in me and anticipate that you will continue to hold me accountable as your representative. Together we can continue our traditions of helping our neighbors, family, and friends when things beyond our control threaten our way of life.

I ask for your vote in November and the opportunity to further meet our community’s needs. Please vote safely in whatever manner is right for you and your family, and please contact me to let me know specific ways to help our community in Augusta.

Democrat April Turner is running for the House District 99 seat against incumbent MaryAnne Kinney, a Republican. This is Turner's third campaign for the seat.