Senate 8 race to feature contested Republican, Democratic primaries

Gun Rights

BUCKSPORT — The race for the Maine State Senate District 8 seat will feature contested primaries on both the Republican and Democratic sides.

Republican incumbent Kimberley Rosen of Bucksport is set to face a primary challenge from Maine House of Representatives District 137 Rep. Larry Lockman of Bradley. The winner of that primary will face the winner of the Democratic contest between Bev Uhlenhake, the former mayor of Brewer, and Trudy Scee, an author, historian and former American history professor at the University of Maine.

Rosen has held the Senate 8 seat since winning the 2014 general election, in which she defeated Paul Davis 53.1 percent to 41.9 percent. After winning re-election unopposed in 2016, Rosen won 58.5 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Uhlenhake’s 41.5 percent to win yet another term in office.

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Kimberley Rosen

Rosen, who represented Maine House District 40 prior to winning her Senate seat, is currently the chairwoman of the state Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Her campaign has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and District 8’s previous senator, Ed Youngblood.

Among Rosen’s campaign platforms are property tax relief, infrastructure investment and protections for domestic violence victims. A former owner of a hair salon and a department store, she’s also made small business interests one of her chief areas of concern.

“I have established a record of accomplishment, sponsoring and passing legislation to address domestic violence and criminal justice reform and bringing home support for our schools, transportation infrastructure and health systems,” Rosen said. “I have helped pass property tax relief and programs to benefit veterans. I love working directly with the people of the district, helping everyone and anyone navigate the government process to fix problems, assist small business and support families.”

Larry Lockman, who is currently serving his fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives, is challenging Rosen for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the Nov. 3 general election. Lockman, a conservative, was first elected to a two-year term in District 30 in 2012 and has represented District 137 since 2014.

Larry Lockman

In 2018, Lockman launched the Maine First Project, an initiative aimed at “prioritizing Mainers first and providing Maine people with the best opportunity for successful lives.” The nonprofit’s points of emphasis include stopping welfare and aid to undocumented immigrants, making Maine an income tax-free state and reforming education to emphasize vocational schools and school choice.

Lockman has the endorsement of former Governor Paul LePage. Asked during a June 3 visit to Ellsworth about past controversial statements Lockman has made, including statements about immigrants and rape, LePage said he could only speak to the fact that “as a legislator, [Lockman] always took the financially prudent path and he was always very diligent about reading the material.”

On the Democratic side, Uhlenhake is looking to represent the party for the second consecutive election cycle. Uhlenhake won the party’s primary unopposed in 2018 before losing to Rosen in the general election.

Uhlenhake served four years as mayor of Brewer from 2015-19 and six years on the Brewer City Council from 2013-19. Her résumé also includes experience as executive director for the Bangor Humane Society and as a commercial real estate broker in the Brewer area.

Uhlenhake’s campaign issues include developing strategies for job creation, infrastructure investment and battling the state’s opioid crisis. She also wants to prioritize “good governance,” which she says starts when legislators demonstrate “that they are willing to show up and listen.”

Bev Uhlenhake

“I want a representative that can take all of the pieces and perspectives and put them together to ensure that we have effective legislation and budgeting rather than ideological posturing,” Uhlenhake said. “Now, more than ever, we need to put aside partisan differences and work toward a better future for Maine.”

Trudy Scee, also a Brewer native, is also running for the Democratic nomination. An author of 17 books and a former college educator, Scee fell just short in November’s Brewer City Council election after mounting a strong challenge in the three-way race.

Scee’s campaign has heavily emphasized issues related to natural resources and the environment. In a May 29 Facebook post, Scee expressed the need for “leaders in Augusta who are compassionate and dedicated and who will look to improve the lives of Maine citizens and the vitality of our towns and cities while protecting our natural resources.”

“I have served as a college professor, an author and as a public school educator as well as having worked in forestry and engineering,” Scee wrote. “I have the experiences and the creativity to help foster effective changes in Augusta.”

District 8 includes the Hancock County communities of Bucksport, Castine, Dedham, Great Pond, Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Township 32 and the East Hancock Unorganized Territory. It also represents nine southern and eastern Penobscot County communities as well as the East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

Mike Mandell

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