House District 98 voters to decide between Cuddy, Kresge

Representing Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport
By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 10, 2018
Democrat Scott Cuddy, left, and Republican Brian Kresge are running for House District 98.

Two Winterport residents are competing to succeed termed-out state Rep. James Gillway, R-Searsport, to represent District 98.

Democrat Scott Cuddy ran in the 2016 race for the same seat but lost to incumbent Gillway. He is a member of the Regional School Unit 22 and Winterport Little League boards, is an active member of the community and volunteers as a coach of rec basketball and soccer, and as a Farm League coach.

An electrician by training, Cuddy is employed by Saco Design of Winterport as digital marketing and social media director.

Born and raised in Winterport, Cuddy says his priorities include lowering property taxes, investing in alternative energy and workforce development.

"Property taxes are the main concern people have," Cuddy said he's learned from knocking on doors. He's seen how the "state's flat-funding has negatively impacted programming for students and taxes."

Republican Brian Kresge, a 41-year-old business software developer, ran unsuccessfully for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a Democrat in 2014 and 2016.

"I became disenchanted with the Democratic party after moving to a rural area in Pennsylvania," he said. "The priorities were usually on urban funding as opposed to rural."

Kresge and his family moved to Maine in 2016. He has served in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and in the Pennsylvania and now in the Maine National Guard. He also was the coalition director for Jewish Outreach in Libertarian Gary Johnson’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Kresge initially declared himself a Libertarian candidate running against incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin to represent Maine's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House, but he withdrew his candidacy before the filing deadline.

Property taxes and health care are some of the concerns Kresge has heard from knocking on doors. He plans on "working with our local school districts to see what we can do to lower property taxes and help keep them from going up."

He tends to vote by means of "cost-benefit analysis" as opposed to strictly by party lines, he said. Kresge would like to continue the efforts Gillway started, by being approachable and working across party lines.

"I don't know if I would change very much," he said.

One of Kresge's priorities is separating "technology" from the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology so "we can focus on things like rural internet, building up our infrastructure and bringing businesses and jobs to Waldo County."

Other priorities will be to support the revenue sharing program, the Maine Ocean School in Searsport, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in general. Kresge says he also supports restorative justice, which focuses on rehabilitation for criminal offenders.

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