Douglas Bunker

Age: 68

Residence: Franklin

Party: Democratic

Present Employment (or previous employment, if retired): Retired (worked at Bucksport paper mill for 24 years)

Highest Level of Education Completed: University of Maine, majored in English

Previous Elected Public Office(s) Held: None

 

Statement:

Many challenges facing our Legislature are issues we’ve been aware of for some time.

 

The loss of manufacturing jobs and associated supporting businesses has been felt throughout rural Maine. I am very concerned these jobs, with decent wages and benefits, are being replaced with part-time, low-wage jobs with few benefits.

 

I believe there is great potential for growth in renewable energy production. I also think a program to retrofit homes to improve energy efficiency would provide many skilled workers with good jobs while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels.

 

Affordable and accessible health care is the most pressing concern to residents of my district. The high cost of many prescription drugs adds to the challenge. Until some form of universal health care is available nationally, Maine must at least expand Medicaid coverage to eligible citizens.

 

These issues and others will need to be addressed by the next Legislature, but the success or failure of those efforts will rest largely on whether we can move beyond the hateful, insulting and sometimes bigoted rhetoric that has become all too common in Augusta. I am committed to returning our legislative process to one recognizing the value of respectful dialogue on issues that impact us all.