Congressional Race

Holbrook offers contrasts to incumbent Rep. Pingree

By Stephen Betts | Oct 11, 2018

Republican Mark Holbrook said he would be Maine's biggest cheerleader if he were elected to represent the state in Congress.

Holbrook is running for the 1st District seat that represents Knox County and southern Maine. The seat is held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of North Haven. There is also an independent in the race -- Marty Grohman of Biddeford.

Holbrook ran against Pingree in 2016, being defeated by 58 to 42 percent.

A Maine native, Holbrook graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 1979 and worked in law enforcement for 12 years. He has since been a social worker, a lobsterman, a commercial diver, and a clinical psychologist with a practice in Brunswick.

Holbrook said that it is not right that Maine's economy is only projected to add 94 jobs over the next 10 years. He maintained that Pingree has done nothing to bring new jobs to Maine.

"Unless you are an organic farmer or on a list of private companies that she wants to feather their nests, we get nothing from her," the Republican candidate said.

"I will be the biggest cheerleader for Maine," he said.

He said he would call executives from Fortune 500 companies and see what they need to bring part or all of their operations to Maine. He said there should be more defense contracting businesses at places such as the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

While Holbrook does not support term limits, he said he would only serve two, two-year terms in Congress before returning to Maine.

"I'm not a politician, I'm not making a career of it," he said.

He claims that Pingree is a career politician who should be replaced.

Holkbrook said Congress should have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention develop a new evidence-based behavioral treatment for opioid addiction. He said Pingree has only called for the CDC to study gun violence.

"Gun violence, that is ridiculous. We lose one Mainer a day to opiates. We're not losing one each day to gun violence," Holbrook said.

Holbrook said he would also work to get money for Portland's wastewater treatment plant. He said the project is important to protect the environment.

The Republican candidate said he would support another cut in federal income taxes.

"[A tax cut] is the one thing Congress can do to stimulate the economy and put people back to work," Holbrook said.

"I'm not talking about crumbs that the progressive left likes to boast about. We're talking about real money in everybody's pocket," he said.

Holbrook said he was concerned about deficits, but that tax cuts would generate jobs and revenues.

The Brunswick man said Congress must protect the country with a strong defense. He said defense costs a lot of money, but until the military is built back up, we have to accept deficits.

China is the biggest foreign threat, the Republican candidate said, maintaining that the United States has allowed China to gain too much financial power in the world.

"They are building up their military, and they represent a significant threat through cyberthreats and boots on the ground," Holbrook said.

Iran and Russia are also threats to the United States, he said.

Holbrook maintained that prior to the passage of Obamacare the progressive left did all it could to create fear around the issue of health care in order to usher in Obamacare. He said Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, should be "tried and summarily hanged in the public square for what he did to this country."

"I don't think there was a health care crisis," Holbrook said.

The government needs to get out of the way of insurance companies and let them sell across state lines, he said.

The country will take care of people who need to be taken care of, he said.

He said while people whose employers change insurance companies should have preexisting conditions covered, people who get insurance for the first time should have to pay more for insurance if they have a medical condition like diabetes.

He compared it to buying a used car with a dent and expecting to then buy auto insurance and have it covered.

He said he would oppose extending Medicare to all citizens.

"I don't want government messing around with health care," he said, but added that he supports Medicare because it is an institution. He said there should be an income test and that wealthy people should not get Medicare.

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