Owner, A Plus Family Taxi |Charlesebragdon.org
When Charles Bragdon, then a political newcomer, failed in his attempt to unseat city councilor Kevin Donoghue in 2009, “I told people I wasn’t going away, and I meant it.” He’s now running to replace incumbent state representative Diane Russell, a Democrat whom Bragdon says has underrepresented her Munjoy Hill/Old Port district. But first, he has to win the primary.
Bragdon claims to be the candidate who is most invested in — and aware of — local issues. He points to his frequent attendance at City Council and charter commission meetings as evidence.
“I’m not someone who just talks about things,” he says. “I get out there and do them.”
One of Bragdon’s top priorities, he says, is job creation. He wants to squeeze more job money out of the federal government’s stimulus package, funneling the cash to local businesses — “the mom and pop stuff that made Maine what it is” — or encouraging businesses to expand to Maine. He supports a local-option meals and lodging tax to help cash-strapped municipalities. He also sees potential in tidal power, and he says his enthusiasm about this sector sets him apart as a candidate.
Bragdon recently changed his party enrollment from Democrat to Green. He says the Green Party’s “key values are in line with my personal beliefs” and he identifies those ideals as grassroots democracy, equality, and universal health care.
And he promises that if he’s elected, he won’t stop attending City Council meetings.
Anna TrevorrowAnna Trevorrow, who stepped down earlier this month as chair of Maine’s Green Independent Party but remains on its steering committee, hopes to be as viable a Green candidate as John Eder, who has said that he “can’t think of a better person to continue where I left off in Augusta.”
Customer-service representative, Norway Savings Bank |Annatrevorrow.org
The Monmouth native, who ran unsuccessfully for School Committee in 2008 and won a seat on the elected charter commission last year, counts progressive taxation, sustainable transportation options, job creation, and support for small businesses among her key issues.
On the charter commission, Trevorrow has demonstrated her ability to “gain support for my initiatives even while they may be progressive,” she says, referring to Instant Runoff Voting in Portland’s mayoral election (where she succeeded) and non-citizen voting rights (which failed, but “inspired a larger movement” in Portland). She hopes to have the same successes in the Legislature, where she wants to revisit the state’s tax system and “make taxes more equal” by tying them to income brackets. She also favors low-cost lending to small businesses, and finding ways to support sole-proprietorship.
“It’s a scary word, but the way you [create revenue] is through taxes,” Trevorrow says, unafraid of alienating voters by uttering that taboo. “My district has voted for me twice now. People know what they’re getting.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information on Portland’s other legislative primaries, and the gubernatorial primary, will appear next week.