Dunlap seeks U.S. Senate seat

12 years ago
Matthew Dunlap

By Kathy McCarty
Staff Writer

Matthew Dunlap, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Olympia Snowe, tossed his hat into the political ring long before Snowe’s announcement that she would not run for re-election.

“Olympia’s decision did not affect my campaign. I decided to run because I felt that questions vital to the future of Maine people and to the nation were not getting asked, and certainly not from the perspective of a working Maine person,” said Dunlap.

He’s aware of the economic division between classes and plans to work to find solutions that will improve the financial future for those suffering most.    

“I have no class jealousy against millionaires, but it’s hard for them to understand exactly what a 10-cent increase in the price of gas means to a family. Since her decision to drop out, my resolve along this line has only strengthened,” he said.

Dunlap’s decision to run for office wasn’t made in haste. In planning his future, he took into consideration his daughter’s generation as well.

“I decided to run for office over a period of time, but one catalytic moment for me was when my 10-year-old daughter told me that she wanted to stay in Old Town, her hometown, forever. When I began to assess her prospects for the future, I decided that someone had to step up and speak for a future with greater opportunity for our young people, and not less,” Dunlap said.

Improving health care and energy production are among his goals.

“In terms of specific goals, I would like to continue to work on the tough issues around health care and tax fairness, but I also want to zero in on subsidies to our oil, gas and other energy companies as well as agribusinesses that occur at a cost to taxpayers and to the small farmers of the Northeast,” said Dunlap.

“I am also particularly interested in trade agreements that continue to ship jobs overseas while we languish in an economic downturn,” said Dunlap.

While working two full-time jobs, Dunlap was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1996, where he served four terms. He also served as House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He was also a leader in the development of the Office of Program Evaluation and Governmental Accountability to ensure state tax dollars were used efficiently and effectively. He was elected Maine’s 47th secretary of state and in 2010, under his direction, Maine implemented the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, enabling military personnel and others abroad to have access to Maine’s voting process. A graduate of Mt. Desert High School, he earned degrees in history and English from UMO, and also completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University.

Born and raised in Town Hill, just outside Bar Harbor, Dunlap now resides in Old Town with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Emily.