House District 99 election a rematch

Representing Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity
By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 10, 2018
Democrat April Turner, left, and Republican incumbent MaryAnne Kinney face off in November for the House District 99 seat.

The same two candidates will face off again, as they did in the 2016 election, for the Maine House of Representatives District 99 seat.

Two years ago, Democrat April Turner lost to Republican MaryAnne Kinney by 666 votes in the nine-town district.

Turner says better-paying jobs, high property taxes and the high cost of health care are all topics residents have voiced concerns about in her district.

She supports expansion of the federal Medicaid program in Maine. She belongs to the Waldo County Chapter of Maine AllCare, which is working on developing health care for all.

Turner also raised money for the EqualityMaine Foundation, a statewide organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

She said she believes in removing barriers that hold people back from education. Turner also said she supports affordable and accessible job training programs.

One of Turner's priorities will be a universal health care plan to help all Mainers.

"I think we can do that right here in Maine," Turner said. "Through this, all Mainers can have insurance and also, a program such as this would open up a lot of opportunities for new businesses and encourage higher education to improve professions."

Turner said that being accessible is very important to her.

"I have a Facebook page, a website and best way to reach me is by calling or texting me," she said.

Republican incumbent MaryAnne Kinney is running for her third term representing District 99.

She is a member of the Maine Farm Bureau, MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association), the National Rifle Association and the Maple Producers Association.

Kinney served on the Agricultural, Conservation and Forestry Committee. She currently works as a maple syrup producer on her farm in Knox and has held a variety of jobs in the past, including truck driver, pharmacy technician and credit analyst.

Concerning the opioid crisis in the county, she says there is not one simple answer. "I did have one bill that ended up being combined with the task force that had been established for this specific topic," Kinney said.

"I was looking into the possibly of having a treatment center in northern Maine, away from the source of the drugs; nothing came of that. It's going to need to be a multi-faceted fix; the problem didn't start overnight and it won't be fixed overnight."

Kinney said she votes "what is best for my constituents."

"Many times party line votes are because the issue is a partisan issue," she said.

Some constituents criticized Kinney for missing a vote concerning the Act To Modernize Maine's Solar Power Policy. The legislation originally was vetoed by the governor and later narrowly defeated in an override vote, for which Kinney was not present. But Kinney says she was called away on a family emergency and would have voted for the override if she had been there.

"My family comes first," she said. "And for the record, Maine Conservation Voters endorsed me because I am supportive of solar.

"I think solar has a place in Maine's future," Kinney said. "Our energy costs are out of control. But it shouldn't be just solar. Bring back hydro power; nuclear is also a clean energy source which should be looked at. We need to look at all the options."

Kinney says she carries around a notebook that contains a list of ideas she is working on; she also uses it to jot down concerns she hears from constituents.

"I keep it with me at all times and it is very helpful," she said.

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