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Patty (Plumber) Kidder: Democratic Primary Candidate for State Representative, District 141

The two candidates running in the June 14, 2022, Democratic Party primary for State Representative, District 141, were asked to submit up to 300 words on their background and qualifications, and up to 500 words on their legislative priorities, and how they would work to achieve them if elected. District 141 includes most (but not all) of Springvale, and part of Sanford. See the map at the bottom of the page. The winner of the primary will face off against Republican Lucas Lanigan in the November general election. Go to sanfordmaine.org/voterregistration for more information, or to request an absentee ballot.

I grew up in Shapleigh where my family owned and operated Plummers’ Square Pond Marina for 30 years. I attended the Shapleigh Memorial School with students from both Shapleigh and Newfield and graduated from Massabesic Jr. – Sr. High School.

I attended USM studying Business Administration and Computer Science. I worked in Louis Berard’s Tax Office on Charles Street in Sanford for 13 years, learning everything I could about Individual and Small Business Taxes. Soon, I started my own tax office part-time, which I still own and operate 40 years later.

I became an active member of the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church (SUUC) in 1991. I served as their Treasurer, Fund Raising Committee Co-Chair, Liaison Board Member, Administrative Assistant, and currently as a Worship Associate and Social Justice Coordinator. SUUC supported me to attend Northeast Leadership School, the Muskie School for Public Policy and many other leadership development seminars.

In 1995, soon after moving to Springvale, my husband had a major health crisis. He was out of work for 6 months and has had issues with his health ever since. Fortunately we had good affordable health care insurance because without prompt medical care, his doctor said he would have been dead the next day. He received the in home health care services critical to a full recovery and the short-term disability payments to ease the financial crisis we faced.

In 2009, Spencer Press closed its doors and my husband lost his job of 20+ years through no fault of his own. He looked for work and went back to college for a second degree and nothing. He was partially disabled and never got a second interview. He couldn’t find a living wage job and his health began a rapid descent. The health conditions that were once well controlled became overwhelming to the point that he is now totally disabled and cannot work.

In 2012, we lost our affordable health insurance and faced the need for consistent ongoing medical care without the means to pay for it. I realized why many wait to get the health care they need until it’s critical and have to go to the ER.

My faith supports my belief that affordable health care is a human right which needs to be available to everyone. So, I started fighting for Maine families 10 years ago with MPA (Maine Peoples’ Alliance) and MUUSAN (Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network) in Augusta for medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage, and making the State follow the law to Fully Fund our Schools at 55%.

I have testified before many committees, sat in on their work sessions and I have persisted building state-wide coalitions as a member of the twice honored, Mainers for Health Care Leadership Team, until together we passed Medicaid Expansion. Now 90,000 more Mainers have access to affordable health care insurance. I have been building relationships with Maine legislators and learning the process for 10 years so that I can be more effective once elected.

I am a long-time member of the York County Democratic Committee and active with the Maine Democratic Party. I recently served as a member of the 2022 Democratic Platform (which I support) Committee and became the Chair of the Sanford Springvale Democratic City Committee.

I want to Build a Better Maine for all of us by sponsoring legislation to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by investing more in helping people electrify and generate their own electricity. The bill needs to include help with weatherization and support for jobs in the renewable energy industry.

I support legislation working to eliminate toxins from our environment and that protect our natural environment and resources, while very carefully expanding our recreation and tourism opportunities. I support help for the clean up efforts against the invasive species taking their toll on our precious natural resources.

I support establishing high-quality affordable childcare, preschool and home-care programs to help relieve the shortage and attract more families and young professionals to our area.

I support student loan debt relief and debt-free public higher education as ways to encourage our adult children to stay in Maine and raise their families.

I support legislation to protect workers rights to unionize, earn a living-wage, receive over-time pay and access time off.

I support programs to increase access to affordable, dependable high-speed internet for our homes, schools and small businesses. The pandemic has proved this is our newest necessity utility.

And currently, I feel Mainers need relief at the gas pump by removing the state fuel tax for 2 years but none of this can happen unless we work together.

I would be representing all of the residents of the district therefore, I want to know what they feel would make a Better Maine.

Patty Kidder

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