Letter to the Editor: Greg Kimber vs Randall Hall for the Maine House of Representatives

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Greg Kimber is running against Randall Hall for the House seat in district 114 which includes the towns of Chesterville, Industry, New Vineyard, Strong, Wilton and Temple.

When I think about which local candidate to vote for in an election, character is an important factor, but more importantly are their views affecting our town, the state and the future our kids and grandkids will inherit.

Randall Hall has served one term in the House and has voted on several important bills the past two years. Here are summaries of the ones I believe are significant on issues of labor, elections, healthcare, and the future of our planet:

Collective Bargaining Rights. Randall voted against LD 1459 which gives loggers the right to form cooperatives and demand better wages and working conditions. He opposed LD 240 which would have made teacher planning and preparation subject to collective bargaining. And, he voted against LD 1177 which would have helped teachers, bus drivers and firefighters (among others) in contract negotiations over wages, retirement and insurance.

Clean Election Laws. Randall opposed every bill that came up in the last session on clean elections: LD 816 to have Maine join the National Popular Vote Compact, LD 54, the Lobbyist Contribution Ban, LD 1626 to restore presidential primaries in Maine, LD 619 that would have allowed early voting for up to 30 days before an election, and LD 1477 that would have extended ranked choice voting to the elections for governor and the state legislature.

Health. Randall voted against LD 820, the Act To Prevent Discrimination In Public And Private Insurance Coverage For Pregnant Women which establishes that abortion is health care. He opposed LD 1261 which increases access to abortion especially in rural areas, and he voted against LD 494 which updates the 45 year-old family planning statues.

Climate: Renewable Energy, Plastics. Randall voted against LD 1494 (a bill that passed the senate with unanimous bipartisan support) which will increase the amount of electricity sold in Maine that comes from renewable sources to 80 percent by 2030. He opposed LD 1711, An Act to Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources in Maine, a bill providing incentives for solar farms. He voted against LD 1532 which eliminates certain single use plastic bags by stores, and he opposed LD 289, the bill banning the use of disposable styrofoam food containers.

Equal Rights Amendment. Randall voted against it.

We all have the sense our country is at a cross road. The decisions we make now will have a profound effect on all our lives and the lives of future generations.

Neither Greg Kimber’s or Randall Hall’s character are in question. There’s much to be said in praise of both men. But they do have profoundly different views on the direction we should go in. Randall Hall’s votes on legislation the past two years give a clear picture of where he stands on the issues. Greg Kimber’s platform of a robust support for renewable energy, fair labor practices, environmental protections, healthcare, election reform, and building an economy that supports young families and provides for our seniors is both practical and hopeful. In 2020, with my kid’s future in mind, I’m going with hope.

Michael Romanyshyn

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