Rural Maine is priority for Congressional candidate Raye

12 years ago
Kevin Raye

By Mark Putnam
Managing editor

PRESQUE ISLE — Second Congressional District candidate Kevin Raye (R-Eastport) made a return trip to Aroostook County this week to meet with residents and business leaders and ask for their support in the June 12 Republican primary.

Raye, currently serving as president of the Maine Senate, announced his candidacy for the U.S. House seat currently held by Congressman Michael Michaud (D-Medway) in Presque Isle last month. He said rural Maine, including Washington and Aroostook counties, needs someone to stand strong on issues that can turn around economic and social conditions that are causing people to leave northern Maine in record numbers.

“I have spent time in Aroostook County to send the message that the region will not be an afterthought,” Raye said yesterday. He spent Monday visiting Caribou, PI, Fort Fairfield, Mars Hill and Houlton. He was interviewed yesterday during the drive between the Millinocket and East Millinocket mills.

As an example of his emphasis on rural Maine needs, Sen. Raye pointed to LD1, a bill he sponsored to create new market tax credits for enterprising small businesses and emerging industries like the proposed torrefied wood project in Millinocket.

“In Congress I would seek to create legislation that would drive investment into parts of Maine that have been left behind,” he said.

Raye’s top priorities as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives would be to improve the economy for job creation and take control of a federal government that is too large and engaged in out-of-control spending.

As leader of Maine’s Senate, he takes credit for helping place the Pine Tree State on stronger financial footing by eliminating $1.7 billion in debt, lowering the tax burden on individuals and businesses and prioritizing welfare and MaineCare payments to “those who are truly needy.”

Raye calls small business and farming the ‘backbone of the Maine economy” and he pledges 100 percent support for legislation that is aimed at improving the playing field for rural regions like northern Maine.

Blaine Richardson of Belfast is challenging Raye in the Republican primary for Maine’s 2nd District seat.