STANDISH — A part-time mathematics instructor at the University of Southern Maine is running for public office for the first time against an incumbent seeking his third term in House District 23.
Democrat Tim Goodwin hopes to unseat Republican Lester Ordway, who was elected in 2015 in a special election and has since held the seat, which represents part of Standish.
Ordway said his time in office has taught him patience.
“The wheels turn very slow in Augusta sometimes. And so the behind-the-scenes to the rank and file, just sitting waiting to make your votes, gets pretty frustrating at times,” he said.
Ordway has a history of public service. He has been a member of the SAD 6 School Board, Standish Planning Board and Standish Town Council and currently serves on the SAD 6 Budget Advisory Committee. His motivation, he said, is his desire to make a difference and help his constituents.
Goodwin has not run for public office before, although he has served on the Budget Committee in Standish. He was inspired to run by a desire to create change.
“I feel there is a disconnect between what the people want and need and what our government provides. This needs to change. Rather than stand on the sidelines and complain about economic and social inequality, I have decided to step up and attempt to make a difference,” he said.
Goodwin also cited his personal experiences as motivation. “Like many, I have been behind in my bills and spent time without health insurance; I have worked more than one job to get by. That this is not an unusual perspective, let alone a unique perspective, tells me that government is not serving the people as well as it should be,” he said.
If elected Nov. 6, Goodwin said his “primary goal would be to enact the will of the people; a representative’s job is to represent the people. I believe the people want an economy that provides decent paying jobs, which in turn requires quality education pre-K through post-secondary and good infrastructure along with strong unions.” He added that he would focus on “education, infrastructure and worker rights.”
Ordway lamented younger working Mainers moving out of state. He said he focuses on attracting young Mainers to live and work in state and is developing a plan to convince young people to stay here, although it is still in the conceptual stage. He proposes that the state offer Mainers – whether they attend college in or out of state – seven-year student loans at 1½ percent interest on the condition that they work in Maine for seven or eight years while they pay them off.
“Living and working here, I think that they would have a tendency to put down roots and stay and attract them back or attract them in. We have a tremendous amount of jobs that just go unfilled, and I mean really good paying, high-tech jobs,” he said. “If they start here, they’re more likely to put down roots and stay here.”
Ordway said he is also considering running for a leadership position in the House, although he has not made a final decision. He’s leaning in that direction “so that maybe we can make things run a little smoother. It would be a way that I could better represent my constituents,” he said.
Goodwin said he will vote yes on Question 1, which asks voters if they want to create a new Universal Home Care Program for seniors and people with disabilities through a 3.8 percent tax on individuals and families making more than $128,400.
“In general, I am in favor of health care for all,” he said.
Ordway is against the bill. “In theory it might sound good, but if you read the minutiae of the bill, it’s bad,” he said. The tax increase would include businesses, he continued, and “that’s not attracting people to stay here. That’s taking the job makers, people with the means, and it’s driving them out of the state.”
When asked how Maine should combat opioid addiction, Ordway discussed three factors. First was enforcement, which he explained as law enforcement focusing on dealers rather than on addicts. The second component he mentioned was education.
The final element was treatment: “We need services for people that are addicted to opioids. The biggest caregivers for opioid addiction in Maine are our county jails,” which don’t have the resources to adequately address the problem, he said. “We do need to put money into resources that will rehabilitate, put people into treatment.”
When asked about Maine’s opioid epidemic, Goodwin said, “I believe we should treat addiction as the health care issue that it is. I am in favor of safe injection sites, primarily because they offer a way for addicts to start receiving the systemic help they need.”
Jane Vaughan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or email@example.com.
Town of Residence: Standish
Party affiliation: Democrat
Family: Divorced with two adult children
Occupation: Part-time mathematics department faculty, University of Southern Maine
Education: Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, University of Vermont
Political/civic experience: Served one year on the Standish Budget Committee
Website/social media: http://www.tim4me.org/
Town of Residence: Standish
Party affiliation: Republican
Family: Married, four children
Occupation: Automotive technology instructor, Central Maine Community College
Education: University of Southern Maine
Political/civic experience: Past member SAD 6 School Board, Standish Planning Board, Standish Town Council; member SAD 6 Budget Advisory Committee.
Website/social media: Facebook – Representative Lester Ordway