2018-10-12 / Community News

Maine State Senate, District 29

Election 2018

Meet the candidates

District 29 in the Maine State Senate serves Cape Elizabeth, South Portland, and a small sliver of eastern Scarborough along the easternmost coastline and the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth town lines.

The district has been held since 2012 by Democrat Rebecca Millett. Challenging her, following a State House run in 2016, is Republican George Van Syckel.

Survey forms were emailed to both candidates and are printed below in alphabetical order as submitted.

Name: Rebecca Millett

Age: 56

Address: Cape Elizabeth [street not provided]

Phone: 415-3770

Occupation: consultant.

Family: married 23 years, twin 19-yearold daughter and son.

Education completed: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from American University, Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Organizations and activities (including past political experience): Cape Elizabeth Board of Education (2004-2010, Chairwoman), Maine State Senate (2012 -present), Portland Chamber Music Festival Board of Directors, Maine Alliance for Arts Education Board of Directors, New England Board for Higher Education Legislative Advisory Committee, Chair.

Top three issues:

1. The high cost of medical care and the lack of affordable health insurance is putting stress on our families and our businesses. We need to continue our efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, increase transparency in medical expenses, and protect Maine citizens from being denied affordable healthcare due to pre-existing conditions. We need to strengthen and broaden the availability of mental health services and give it equal footing with other investments in the health of our citizens.

2. Maine remains the oldest nation in the country. We rank 48th in the nation for population growth which is logical when you consider that deaths outnumber births in our state. The economic consequences of this is of deep concern and is reflected most clearly in our looming workforce challenges. The legislature passed my bill to officially declare our goal of 60% of working Mainers will possess higher education degrees or credentials. Now we need to strategically align our resources in support of strong foundations for all of our children, quality schools, upgraded vocational programs, affordable post secondary education, and meaningful internships and apprenticeships.

3. There is no more time to lose in building affordable renewable energy programs for Maine citizens and businesses. We are so far behind our New England neighbors and other states across the country in developing smart energy plans, collaborations and building resiliency in our energy grids. It is imperative that Maine’s next governor work with the legislature and renewable energy researchers and entrepreneurs to put us back on track for energy independence

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

I find great meaning and purpose in public service. Working to find solutions to our communities’ most pressing issues with people from across the state is deeply rewarding. I remain committed to advocating for our children, hard-working Mainers and our elderly.

As a member of Maine’s Senate, I will continue to work passionately to make our communities and Maine a healthier and more prosperous places to live. I would appreciate the opportunity to further serve the citizens of our district and our state.

Name: George Van Syckel

Age: 59

Address: 17 Summerglen Road, South Portland.

Phone: 749-5979

Occupation: Sales at Bill Dodge Auto Group, broker Vacationland RV

Family: I have five children, Judah is an attorney, Arielle is a general surgeon, Hannah went to Oxford and is a linguistics professor, Karis is a pilot and Leah is a journalist.

Education completed: I earned a master’s degree from Western Seminary.

Organizations and activities: (including past political experiences): I was an intern in Washington D.C. for Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, republican from Oregon, in 1993. I ran for the 2016 house seat in Cape Elizabeth. I am most involved in ministry, most recently in the development of plans for Trinity Bible Church in Cape Elizabeth. I am the chaplain for the Cape Elizabeth and South Portland police departments. I am a member of South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Saco, and Biddeford critical incident stress management team. I am the chaplain for Flotilla 13-02-01 USCG aux. and the assistant chaplain for the Northern District based at South Portland USCG. I am founder of Woodcock International, which is a conservation effort focused on restoring woodcock through habitat management. primarily for scolopax minor in the Americas and scolopax rusticola in Eurasia, as well as others in the scolopax family. Boy Scouts: Eagle Scout and volunteer. I am a life member of the FFA, Future Farmers of America. 4-H as kid, parent volunteer and promoter. Member of the Cape Elizabeth grange. Member of the Cape Elizabeth Lions Club. Member of the Spurwink Rod and Gun Club. Member of the NRA. Cape Elizabeth / South Portland Hiram Blue Lodge #180 master mason

Top three issues:

1. Ending the excise tax if the municipalities will not give the people 90 day temporary plates. It is a tax that puts poor people at risk driving junk because they cannot afford a better vehicle. I have been petitioning the legislature since 1994 when we only had 5 days and the rest of the country had 30-90 day plates. Now we are up to 14 days when the rest of the country pays their taxes at the dealership, includes it in the loan and are issued hard plates.

2. Increasing elder care living facilities by creating a climate for investors in senior living facilities and nursing homes. For those who are no longer able to adequately care for themselves and can leave their home safely, it increases dwelling availability for the younger generation. creating pretax cooperative investment opportunities in retirement housing similar to 401k’s and HMOs.

3. Making Maine self sustaining in agriculture and an agriculture exporter by giving fields a lower tax rate than forests. Fields are good for people and forest animals. The uncontrolled growth of Maine forests which is at 97 percent of the state topography is destructive to Maine’s wildlife and agriculture. Agriculture theory and practice must be taught in all our public schools grades K-12.

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

I am seeking elected office to limit government from burdening the people of maine with excessive taxes and regulations.

Return to top