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State Senate District 13

Dow focuses on economy in reelection campaign

By Christine Simmonds | Sep 28, 2020
Courtesy of: Dana Dow Sen. Dana Dow runs for reelection in Senate District 13.

Waldoboro — Dana Dow has become known in the Senate for his efforts to increase communication between parties.

Dow, who is a Republican, brought forth an idea to his fellow legislators years ago he called “take a legislator from the opposite side of the aisle out to lunch.” He suggested that during April, May and June, members of the Senate could invite each other to lunch around Augusta and get to know members with opposing views.

The two parties need to communicate with each other, Dow said. By the end of the week after his suggestion, Senators were announcing they were indeed going for lunch with fellow legislators from other parties.

“That worked out well,” said Dow. “I’m proud of that.”

Dow is the incumbent for Senate District 13, which includes Washington, Windsor and all of Lincoln County except Dresdin.

The Senator said he continues to run because he still believes Maine’s economy is a top priority, especially with the pandemic-induced recession. While he said there were other reasons, that was the top one.

Dow said his business experience with Dow Furniture in Waldoboro allows him to use good judgment and help Maine’s economy.

The economy has always taken a back seat in Maine, Dow said. One way to fix that is to focus on Maine businesses and the people who are working there. “It’s always about the people doing the work,” he said.

Dow measures Maine’s economy based on the number of students enrolled in schools. He said in 1970, there were 250,000 students. Today, he said, that number is under 180,000.

The reason for the drop in school enrollment, Dow said, is the same reason Maine has a birth rate lower than the death rate. People are moving to other states to find good jobs, and taking their children with them.

Dow estimated that the 70,000 fewer students enrolled in schools equates to more than 200,000 people who should be living and working in Maine, but are not. “That would have really changed our economic outlook,” he said.

Dow said Maine must find ways to convince those people to come back, and convince those who are here to stay. Maine needs strong businesses with good jobs to offer people.

“The economy drives everything else,” he said. Without tax money provided from a good economy, “you can’t have anything.”

He said this was true for everything, from health care, to insurance to nursing homes. “It doesn’t matter what topic you pick. Without the hub being strong, all the spokes are going to be weak.”

One way to do this during the pandemic, Dow said, was for people quickly return to work. He pointed out that lots of people are on unemployment and do not have insurance. “We’ve got to get people back to work,” he said.

Dow said people know more about social distancing and masks than they did in February, and said he felt that knowledge could be put to use to reopen businesses and return people to work.

As for taxes, he said it was time for Maine to tighten some belts and take a hard look at tax relief. “We can’t raise taxes in Maine,” he said, either property or income taxes. He feels a lot of the stricter regulations caused businesses to leave the state.

The solution for this is tax relief and reform, according to Dow. He said the state is in need of a total tax reform package, which would require hard work and determination.

Dow pointed out that property exemptions caused Maine towns to raise taxes to make up the difference. This is really just moving taxes around, he said. “Tax reform isn’t taking taxes out of one pocket and putting it in another,” he added.

Dow has also supported conservation issues and called himself an environmentalist. He has supported carbon taxes in the past that would provide refunds for Mainers who buy more efficient appliances and winterize their homes.

The Senator said he has also sponsored bills that removed regulations around solar energy systems and allowed more expansion of those projects. “You’ve got to move forward with projects that really work and bills that really work,” he said.

Dow added that while he had a 100% conservation score two years ago, he does not have a perfect average because he judges environmental bills based on how they will affect Maine businesses and the economy as well. “There has to be a marriage between the two,” he said. “...The two are tied directly.”

Election 2020 - Dana Dow - Candidate: Maine Senate District #13
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