Courier Publications reporters and editors came up with a list of questions for candidates based in part on concerns raised by members of the public in "Heard on the Street" interviews. The questions were posed to candidates via email.

Edward Mazurek, D-Rockland, is challenging incumbent District 22 Sen. Christopher Rector, R-Thomaston for his state in the November election.

Mazurek, in his fourth term in the House representing Rockland and part of Owls Head is prohibited by state term limits from running for the House. Instead, he is looking to take on the senate role for the district, which represents Rockland, Rockport, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston, Union, Vinalhaven, Warren, Appleton, Camden, Cushing, Hope, Criehaven, Matinicus and North Haven.

Why are you running?

There is much to be done in Maine. I want to continue to serve the people of Knox County and Maine. The people need good solid representation: a person who will speak with a strong voice and champion for its economic and social diversity. My experience, on both the local and state level, provides me with a clear understanding of the problems we face, both rural and urban. We need to make Maine a better place for all.

What government services, if any, do you feel should be privatized?

Our government services should remain in the hands of the public, so they can be held accountable. Privatizing would negate this accountability.

What services do you feel need to be protected from budget cuts?

The most needed and vital services should be kept intact.

Mitt Romney has proposed kicking Medicaid costs back to the states to administer and cutting federal funds for them. Would you support this plan, and how do you think it would impact state government and taxes?

I would not support this plan. The states are already facing huge budget shortfalls. This plan would create serious problems for state governments to meet that need.

What is your position on women’s health issues including insurance coverage for contraceptives and the option of having abortions to terminate unwanted pregnancies?

Womens Health Insurance coverage allows them access to many medical services that otherwise would be denied.

We have seen a push, particularly from Republicans, for more showing of identification at the polls. What are your thoughts on balancing the need for preventing voter fraud with the need to provide access to citizens wishing to vote?

There is very little documented evidence of voter fraud here in Maine. We already have laws about this activity. We should enforce them.

Why aren’t there more jobs?

The entire economy took a hit in the latter stages of President Bush’s second term. We are finally making improvements in creating jobs in the U.S. In Maine, we have a unique problem of location, weather, and a relatively small work force. However, we are making headway in science and technology job creation.

What would you do for those seeking to start businesses and create jobs?

We need to make low cost loans, and if needed, short-term tax incentives.

How would you address the challenge of providing higher education for low and middle income young people who cannot afford college without massive loans?

We need to invest and expand our technical schools and community colleges.

How can we help Maine people transition from traditional energy sources, particularly for heat, to renewable resources?

Education, as well as lowering the cost of alternative energy sources.

What should be done to protect Maine’s environment and resources? Is this issue a priority for you as a candidate?

Maine’s uniqueness stems from our clean environment and abundance of natural resources.

These qualities are economically beneficial to Maine and its people. They must be preserved.

Do you support state government buying more land to preserve it as state parks?

Purchasing land for state parks would be appropriate, when a true need can be demonstrated.

Where do you stand on campaign finance?

I am a Clean Election candidate. The Clean Election law allows many people to run for office who would unable otherwise.

What should be done about the state’s welfare programs including disability benefits, Maine Care, and substance abuse treatment subsidies?

Welfare programs are designed to benefit those in need. Abuses should be reported and investigated.

Do you support allowing gay marriage in Maine?

People should be free to make their own decisions on who they want as their life partner.

How do you feel the Tea Party movement has affected local, state and federal politics and policy decisions?

The Tea Party has brought to light certain areas of concern that need to be addressed. However, in some cases they allow very little discussion or free thought. We must all be willing to sit down and negotiate our points of view.

What has been your career aside from politics?

I am a retired teacher and coach.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Rockland?

I am from Stamford, Conn. and have lived in Rockland 35 years.

What is your education?

Xavier University, BSBA, Fairfield University, MA

Can you tell us a little about your family? Are you married with children, grandchildren?

Married: Maryellen; four children, four grandchildren.