Hello Pine Tree State! Be sure to keep your pine trees thriving, Maine, and read up on your sustainable congressional candidates this season. To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Maine
In Maine, you must be registered with a political party in order to vote for a candidate, who must match your political party. Candidates need a majority to move onto the general election, but they run things a little differently. They eliminate candidates based on who has the least amount of votes if there is no outright majority, then give those votes to the second-preference choice. Cue the new tally to see if someone has a majority.
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Governor, other state executive, State Senate, State House, local judges, recalls, and ballot measures.
- Incumbent since 2012
- Governor of Maine, 1994-2002
- Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Angus understands that climate change poses a great threat to our country and planet, which is why he consistently supports legislation that encourages clean energy and reduced carbon emissions. He’s a big advocate for the EPA’s Brownfields program, which aids community pollution cleanups to protect the public from hazardous materials. These types of initiatives and other regulations from the EPA help make sure land, air, and water are safe for the public–all things that Angus is concerned about.
Angus is excited about Maine’s tidal power turbines and your states developing floating offshore wind turbines. Both of these are the first in the country! He wants to keep funding research in renewable energy developments, particularly with new technologies and battery storage. Lastly, Angus opposes offshore drilling and wants to keep these restrictions in place.
Other Senator Candidates:
- Zak Ringelstein (D) – Wants to reduce our CO2 output by stopping fossil fuel production and transitioning into a renewable-fuels country and incentivizing CO2 reduction goals for businesses.
- Eric Brakey (R)
- Max Linn (R)
- Chris Lyons (Libertarian)
- Alex Hammer (Independent)
- Benjamin Pollard (Independent) – Wants to conserve our country’s natural resources and use them “in a sustainable manner.”
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
- Incumbent since 2008
- Organic farmer
- Summary: Local and organic food
While Chellie has expressed her support for some basics here–renewable energy, reduced carbon emissions, etc–her big sustainable issue is food. As an organic farmer, a mother, and a consumer, Chellie understands how important local and organic farming is. She discusses some of this in a Ted Talk, explaining how GMO foods can cause imbalances in our ecosystems, and that buying food locally benefits the environment and the economy.
So what has she done in Congress about this? She introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act. This bill includes a lot of initiatives that help small, organic, and local farms grow and provide more food to their communities. Chellie recognized the disproportionate amount of federal money going to commodity crops, like corn and cotton, as opposed to specialty crops, like most vegetables. Her act aims to level this playing field too. This bill also works to increase access to local and fresh foods for food stamp receivers, allowing low-income families to eat healthily, locally, and support sustainable farming methods. Supporting local farms doesn’t just mean you’re supporting more environmentally-sound methods though, it also helps reduce CO2 emissions from transporting food.
Chellie has also introduced the Food Recovery Act, which targets food waste and works to reduce the amount of wasted food. To help with food waste, she introduced the Food Date Labeling Act in an attempt to make labels more consistent and straightforward.
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Mark Holbrook (R) – Claims he is “not a denier” because there is “nothing to deny” as global warming is “political, not environmental or scientific.” He sites our planet’s continual ice age/warming cycles as the reason for climate change but refuses to acknowledge human’s involvement with the pace at which the climate is changing. He does say, however, that he is “seriously against” pollution, but seems a little torn when it comes to regulating fossil fuels. He also supports the Keystone XL pipeline, domestic crude oil expansion, renewable energy expansion (but not federal investments of this one), and clean coal tech.
- Martin Grohman (Independent)
Our pick: Lucas St. Clair
Lucas is concerned about conservation. He wants to make sure Maine stays a beautiful state and therefore opposes offshore drilling along Maine’s costs and tax breaks to fossil fuel companies. Instead, he believes our country should be working toward renewable development and increased energy efficiency, which would reduce the fossil fuels and their harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Lucas sees hope in plans like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative–a plan that Maine has adopted in order to reduce pollution and ensure clean air & water. He also supports the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Jared Golden (D) – Wants to keep land, water, and air clean by reducing carbon emissions, investing in clean energy, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and fully funding the EPA.
- Bruce Poliquin (R) – (Campaign Site) – Incumbent – Supports “energy independence” which suggests he’s interested in developing renewable and nonrenewable sources. He’s particularly interested in biomass energy.
- Craig Olson (D) – Recognizes the need for a sustainable balance to protect ecosystems and natural resources, especially for Maine’s fishing and tourism industries.
- Henry John Bear (Green)
- Tiffany Bond (Potential Independent)
- Will Hoar (Potential Independent)
- Dennis O’Connor (Potential Independent) – Wants us to expand our use of alternative fuel sources.
- Danielle VanHelsing (Potential Independent)