Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 4, 2018
Islanders seek House District 134 seat
by Anne Berleant
Both candidates for House District 134 are untried in Augusta politics, but they have been active on a local level. Democratic candidate Genevieve McDonald of Stonington is the Downeast Region Representative to the Maine Lobster Advisory Council, and Republican candidate Philip Brady Jr. of Deer Isle is the town chairman for the Deer Isle Republicans.
District 134 includes Deer Isle, Stonington, Isle au Haut, six other towns in Hancock County and two in Knox County.
Philip Brady Jr., Republican
A first-time candidate running as a Republican in a Democratic district, Brady said, if elected, he will represent his constituents.
“My intention would be to vote the will of the district unless it is a moral question. I am going to try and reflect the voters in my district unless they cross the line, whatever the line is, and I don’t anticipate that happening.”
Because District 134 consists of mainly island towns, Brady said he would mainly represent island residents and their concerns. “There are any number of lobster issues that need to be kept on the burner,” he said. “[Islanders] have a toll problem with the state ferry service. It’s tough on a commuter who’s trying to get to work [on the mainland].”
People should vote for him, despite a tendency these days not to vote “for old, white men,” based on his range of experiences, Brady said. “I’ve been in public service, private service, military service.”
Brady spent 30 years in the military, has been a part-time police officer in Massachusetts, an emergency manager in New Hampshire, and a volunteer firefighter. He is a printer by trade and is a certified hypnotherapist.
“The politics end of it is a real problem,” he said, and he can best represent his district, if elected, “if I stay focused on taking care of district business and not getting hung up on Democrat/Republican. If the district comes to me with an issue that is Democrat [sponsored], I have to vote for it.
“Talking to people in my district will give me better insight.”
He continued, “The people making the rules are not paying attention to the folks at home, at the national level. I’m certainly not a career politician. I would give [voters] a very good bang for their buck.”
Brady lives on Little Deer Isle with his wife, and is director of the Advanced Hypnosis Center in Deer Isle.
Genevieve McDonald, Democrat
McDonald identifies rural economic development, sustaining commercial fisheries and the working waterfront, and affordable health care as top issues to address. After eight years of “gridlock” in Augusta, she points to collaboration and communication as keys to achieving positive results.
“It’s time for a change, for people to see what a functioning government looks like,” she said.
If elected, McDonald said she will vote on the “needs and desires of my constituents. People over party.”
“I think compromise is necessary. [In] appropriations, funding, there has to be room to come together and find a common solution.”
But “there are some social justice and discrimination issues I’m unwilling to compromise on,” she said.
In District 134, McDonald is concerned with affordable housing, addressing the “opiate epidemic” and the labor shortage, with the latter, in particular, on the minds of potential voters and community members she’s spoken with.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about the lack of skilled labor for the trades, electricians, plumbers,” she said, “and waitresses, just all across the board.”
Another concern in her district is health care and the cost of child care versus a livable wage.
“I’ve had a lot of women approach me about [child care costs] because I am a working mother,” she said. “For most working jobs in Maine, your daily wage equals day care costs. I don’t have an easy solution to that but I have some ideas.” One idea is publicly funded after-school programs, “to help ease the gap between when the school day ends and the work day ends.”
A recent graduate of University of Maine at Orono with a interdisciplinary major, McDonald is married, a commercial fisherman, and mother of 5-month old twins and resides in Stonington.