Maine’s United States Senate Candidates Debate at Husson University
It was a full stage as five of the six candidates for Maine’s US Senate seat debated in Bangor on Wednesday night. The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce sponsored the debate at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre.Democratic State Senator Cynthia Dill, Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers and Independents former Governor Angus King, tea party activist Andrew Ian Dodge and businessman Steve Woods were all given equal time. The first question of the night focused on how the candidates would fix Washington’s partisan politics, so more would get done. Frontrunner Angus King said that issue is the basis of his entire campaign.”This is about real people and solving real issues and I believe we have to try it a different way and that’s why I’m running as an independent for the United States Senate,” said King.Dill and Summers said fixing what’s broken will take more than entering the Senate as an independent.”That doesn’t mean necessarily you’re going to be more productive, you’re going to offer anything new to the United States Senate. It simply means you’re uncommitted and you’re without an infrastructure to get things done,” said Dill.Summers said, “If it’s broken, it’s broken because it’s leaderless. It’s broken because there’s not a direction being taken and what it’s crying out for right now is someone who’s willing to go to Washington and not be concerned about the next election six years from now, but to go there concerned about the next generation.”This debate like many others this political season focused greatly on the economy and job creation. “We can come out of this recession, but we have to have our eyes open. We need to reform the tax code, so everybody pays their fair share. We need to invest in infrasturcture projects that put people to work,” said Dill.Summers said, “If we want to get ourselves out of the economy we are in, we cannot tax and regulate our way out of it, we have to do things to allow small busineses to not only take root, but to expand, to hire people.”King said Congress is stuck on these issues because the parties don’t want to meet in the middle.”We can’t get to healthcare, we can’t get to something about healthcare costs, energy, the debt and the deficit, the economy and jobs, we can’t get to these issues if the institutiuon itself doesn’t work,” said King.Independents Andrew Ian Dodge and Steve Woods argued these three frontrunners aren’t the candidates to fix the country’s or Maine’s problems.”I don’t think they have the solutions and certainly they don’t have very good records on liberty and freedom. All of them wish to increase the size of government in one way or another. Everytime we do such things they reduce your individual liberties,” said Dodge.Woods said, “The fundamental issue is we need better candidates. We need better people representing us on the local municipality level, on the county level, on the state level, on the federal level. We the people have to demand that.”In just a few weeks, we’ll see what the people of Maine demand as we elect our new junior senator.