Jacqueline Spofford referred to Maine House District 36 as “the shattered glass district” in a Sept. 21 interview.

“It looks like someone broke a glass and reconstructed the random pieces,” she said.

District 36 comprises part of Mt. Desert, Tremont, Swans Island, Frenchboro, Stonington, Deer Isle, Brooklin, Vinalhaven, North Haven and Isle au Haut.

Spofford said she has attended Hancock County Republican Party Committee meetings as well as those in Penobscot County, where she previously lived.

“I started my own business in March of 2009,” she said. “I’m a pastry chef.” She said her political run was inspired by the process of starting her business in addition to experiences that her family had with their quarter-century-old family business.

“I’ve been to a few town council meetings and planning board meetings,” she said. “I’ve also been to some of the Republican state committee meetings in Augusta.”

Spofford said she would change the way she operates her business if elected to the Legislature.

“Right now I do everything out of my house,” she said.

“I’ve never tried to change someone’s position,” she said. “I’ll explain where I’m coming from and if they don’t agree with me I’m not going to force my position on someone.”

“I see [the Tea Party movement] as a lot of Republicans coming out and supporting people that they might not have before, but I also see it as splitting the party,” she said.

“People with the same basic point of view may end up not working together,” Spofford said. “Republicans and Tea Party people are all basically the same on core issues that matter. From what I’ve seen they’re not always willing to work together once the primaries are over.”

Spofford said that she has been told that her positions on bills that have come before the Legislature make her a Tea Party candidate but that she did not consider herself one.

She said she attended the Republican Party state convention in Portland on May 7 and May 8, and had read “as much [of the party’s platform] as I could. They were showing it on the screen. I did not vote for it.”

“I think we should try to do more [with] tidal power in my district as opposed to wind,” Spofford said. She said she read a Department of Environmental Protection report on noise issues on Vinalhaven.

“I don’t see it as a very productive way,” she said. “I know it has lowered costs for people there. On a state level I would look at some more alternatives.”

Spofford said she knew a little about tidal energy and was anxious to see what would happen with an experimental tidal generator in Eastport.

Spofford said she tried to develop a position on the medical use of marijuana.

“Generally, I’m for it,” she said. “Most people I talk to in the district are for it for medical purposes.”

Spofford said she would have to look into consolidation proposals before deciding if they were feasible to combine state departments.

“I talked to someone who knows more about the fishing industry and he said [Gov.] Baldacci’s idea [to combine the departments of conservation, inland fisheries and wildlife, and marine resources] was not a good one.”

“I believe there are some things we could probably combine,” she said.

Spofford said health care was “everybody’s favorite topic.”

“I think that we should be able to buy from out of state,” she said. “The way that MaineCare has worked out I think it’s something we need to get away from.”

She said there should be some government assistance for those that do need it, “but we should encourage people to get off it if possible.” Spofford said the government should assist those with disabilities “when need be.”

“I think the state should be listening to local fishermen,” Spofford said. “I believe that fishermen have regulated themselves for many years and can continue to do that.”

She said state regulators are necessary, but that instead of hiring people from academic institutions and other areas to do research on fish populations and other impact studies they should talk to the fishermen.

“On a national level fishing is different in all parts of the country,” Spofford said. “The country should have more broad regulations and the states [should be] empowered to narrow regulations down to what is best, based on feedback from the fishermen.”

Spofford said whatever took place in the country at large had an effect on matters in Maine and that the Legislature had a right and a need to weigh in on national and global issues such as climate change.

“One of the major reasons that I’m running is because I want to see that future generations are able to stay here,” Spofford said. “Jobs is a major issue. I’m not sure I know how to create more jobs but that is something I want us to work on.” She said 70 percent of jobs created in Maine came from small businesses.

“If it was easier to have a business in Maine more people would do it,” she said.

Spofford said she was still considering the gubernatorial candidates. She said she had heard a lot about Eliot Cutler but did not want to split the vote.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.

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