Voters’ Guide 2010: House District 114

Patrick Calder.

Maine State House District 114
One tough mother

Peter Stuckey, the incumbent Democrat representing Maine House District 114, better watch out. He’s got a tough opponent this year.

How tough is Republican Patrick Calder? Calder’s mother, according to the candidate’s online bio, was a longshoreman. Now that’s tough.

Calder, 28, followed in his folks’ footsteps and makes his living by the sea. He’s a merchant mariner, like his dad was, and has a marine engineering degree, too.

What he doesn’t have is political experience — this is his first run for office — but that’s not to say he doesn’t have a chance against Stuckey, 63, in this seaside district that includes East Deering and several islands in Casco Bay.

Stuckey took over this seat two years ago, after fellow Democrat Boyd Marley was term-limited out, handily beating a Republican challenger whose mom did not work on the docks. Stuckey spent nearly two decades as director of the East End Children’s Workshop, and then another 18 years heading programs for kids at the People’s Regional Opportunity Program (PROP) before he was downsized in ’07. Now semi-retired, he works part-time as a toll collector and seasonally at L.L. Bean.

If this contest was about drinkin’ rum and arm-wrestlin’, you’d probably have a favorite already.

But, unfortunately, it’s not, so here are the contenders’ responses to our Voters’ Guide questions.

— Chris Busby

Would you support allowing a casino to operate in Maine?

Calder: Yes, subject to local approval.

Stuckey: Is generally opposed to casinos, but noted, “If anybody’s gonna be allowed to rip us off, I think the indigenous people should have first crack at it.”

Peter Stuckey.

Should Maine legalize gay marriage?

Calder: Is personally not in favor of gay marriage, but would support it if a majority of his constituents did.

Stuckey: Yes.

Do you favor any further restrictions on access to abortion?

Calder: Abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Supports parental notification; opposes late-term abortions and the use of public funds for abortion procedures.

Stuckey: No.

Would you support the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant in Maine?

Calder: Yes, “provided … it leads to a decrease in energy costs.”

Stuckey: No.

Should we keep the state’s vehicle inspection system as it is, or make inspections more or less frequent/stringent?

Calder: Is open to relaxing requirements, particularly for newer vehicles.

Stuckey: Maintain current system.

Do you support allowing charter schools to operate in Maine?

Calder: Yes.

Stuckey: No.

What was your position on the tax reform plan?

Calder: Opposed.

Stuckey: Supported.

Portland Police Chief James Craig is advocating for tougher drug laws. Should Maine’s drug laws be tougher?

Calder: “I absolutely would [toughen drug laws].”

Stuckey: Yes, if the crime involves violence. “To lock somebody up for X number of years because you catch them with their own personal cache of drugs is not the best use of scarce public resources.”

Who are you supporting for governor?

Calder: Paul LePage.

Stuckey: Libby Mitchell.