Originally published in Castine Patriot, March 1, 2018
Ward announces reelection bid
Rep. Karl Ward (R-Dedham) is running for reelection in House District 131, which includes Penobscot.
He is serving his second term and sits on the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation.
Ward self-funds nearly all his campaign costs, eschewing money from lobbyists, political action committees or taxpayers, a campaign press release said.
“By paying out of my pocket, folks can know that no one owns my vote but them”, Ward said.
Ward said he donates all of his legislative pay back to the seven towns in his district in youth-centered ways. These include scholarships, school equipment and capital improvement projects and playgrounds.
Ward authored the “Right to Try Bill,” which provides access to potentially life saving drugs to terminally-ill Mainers. He also authored legislation to stiffen penalties for assaults on law enforcement personnel and to create a police squad dedicated entirely to “cold cases.”
Ward is president and chief executive of Nickerson & O’Day, described in the release as one of the largest construction contractors in the state. He is formally recognized by the University of Maine as a “Distinguished Engineer.”
A native Mainer, Ward is the first in his family to attend college and paid his own way. He said he brings the work ethic that his parents instilled in him to his job as a legislator.
“I was raised by a mother born during the Depression in a log cabin in the north Maine woods and a father who left high school to serve in World War II,” he said.
Ward has been married for 31 years to Dr. Kathy Ward, who owns Penobscot Eye Care in Brewer. They have lived for 25 years in Dedham, where they have raised three children: Katie, Ryan and Braeden. All three will be college students this fall.