Two local candidates look to fill seat in House District 4
CARIBOU, Maine — Two Caribou residents are vying to replace Sue Bernard in Maine’s State House District 4, which represents Caribou, Wade and Washburn.
Bernard, R-Caribou, is running against Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, in the race for Jackson’s seat in Maine State Senate District 1. Bernard was first elected as House Representative for District 4 in 2020 when the region was known as District 149.
Timothy Guerrette, a Republican, and Jordyn Rossignol, a Democrat, are in the race for Bernard’s seat.
Both candidates received the same set of questions. In alphabetical order, here are the candidates and their responses.
Party Affiliation: Republican
Why are you running? I’ve talked to many people I’ve grown up with. They, like myself, are unhappy with the way things are going in Augusta. I want to go to the Statehouse to be a bigger voice for all rural Mainers. It is evident that rural Maine is not always considered in legislation that has passed. I want to pass legislation that will better the lives of the people in Caribou, Washburn and Wade.
Education: I graduated from high school as well as paramedic school through Northern Maine Community College.
Employment: I’m retired from the Caribou Fire Department after 24 years. I was a full- time firefighter/air flight paramedic. For the last 22 years, I have also been growing cabbage with my family and selling them locally.
Family: I live with my fiancé Shauna Farwell and her daughter. I have two sons: Steven and Joey.
What are the top three priorities you wish to address if elected? The opioid epidemic that is plaguing the entire state of Maine, lowering taxes for hard-working Mainers and finding creative solutions to lowering fuel costs so that no Mainer has to choose between eating or buying fuel.
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Why are you running? I cannot sit back and continue to watch broken systems negatively impact the hard-working people of Maine. I want to be a part of the solution rather than a bystander. As a small business owner who works with more than 100 families on a daily basis, I’m aware of the hardships that working families are faced with each day. I want to bring awareness to the people in government who have the ability to make a positive difference. As a parent, I also believe we need a mother’s voice at the Statehouse. Specifically, a mother who is in the throes of raising a family right now in our current financial climate. I want to bring fresh, new, out-of-the-box ideas to Augusta that would put money back in the pockets of our families who keep Aroostook County afloat.
Education: Caribou High School graduate, 2006. University of Maine Orono graduate, 2010; Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.
Employment: I own and operate Miss Jordyn’s Child Development Center on Sweden Street in Caribou.
Family: My partner Daren and I have been together 10 years and are raising our two beautiful children — Kingston, 7, and Monroe, 5 — in Caribou.
What are the top three priorities you wish to address if elected? I want to expand access to high quality, reliable and affordable child care to all families in Maine. There are few providers left in Aroostook County because the business model is broken. It is impossible to keep our doors open while also being compliant with strict regulations put upon us. This is something that I’m determined to solve so that parents who need to work and want to work can do so.
I have helped many of my employees search for housing in the past few years and many of them have had to move in with friends temporarily or move back to their hometowns to find something they can afford. If we want to regenerate our workforce, we need to make sure we have affordable housing for them to be able to plant roots.
One of the biggest issues I have run into as an employer is not being able to offer health benefits to my hardworking staff. As a result I have lost more than 30 amazing educators to other career opportunities that could offer them a health package. I went years running my own business without health insurance for myself. That is a scary fact that so many other dedicated members of our workforce are experiencing as well.