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House District 95

Luce runs to make a difference, lead with compassion and care for her community

By Susan Mustapich | Sep 21, 2020
Molly Luce

Hope — Molly Luce is running for election to the Maine House of Representatives District 95 to stand up for the needs of people in her community and make a difference. She places personal responsibility and individual actions before government programs in many areas.

Luce, a Republican, will face Independent Bill Pluecker, who has served one term in the Maine House and is running for reelection. District 95 encompasses Appleton, Hope, Warren and part of Union.

She was asked why she is running for election, and questions on the COVID-19 pandemic, property taxes, climate change and investment in broadband internet. Luce was also asked to talk about her views on issues that often divide voters along partisan lines, choosing either women's reproductive rights or gun control, or both.

Running for office

Luce is running for the District 95 seat because “we need very solid leaders who have compassion and care about our community, who will “stand up for what we need and understand our issues." She describes that compassion as having "the heartbeat and the soul of our community."

She is grateful to live in her district, which for her has been a great place to grow up and to be a kid and to have grown her businesses.

Luce grew up in east Union by Morgan's Mills and comes from a long line of Hope, Lincolnville and Union people. She has worked her whole life, she said, starting out in the blueberry fields and Seacoast Road egg plant in Hope with her father.

She and her husband started their bus company, Luce Transportation, in 1987 and operated the company for 30 years. "My husband had one bus, and he met me, and we decided we would build a school bus business," she said. "It’s a big part of our community. When you have a school bus driver, they have a lot of responsibility for our children. That’s what I believe in, having responsibility for my neighbors, for our children and making sure they are safe and cared for," she said.

She started another business called Safe Care 21 years ago for special needs children, kids with behavioral problems and sick children.

“It’s my heart and soul, she said. “It’s not just transporting children that I do," she said.  "It’s loving the families, helping mothers, fathers, assisting with foster parents and adoptions"  She believes in being there for families in any situation they get into. She feeds children when they are hungry and puts coats on their backs when they need a coat, without asking for anything from families to do this.

“I do that myself, because I believe that if we all took care of our neighbors and loved our neighbors as we love ourselves, that it would be better for all of us.”

“It’s my time to run,” she said. "I have worked my whole life in building businesses here and creating jobs for our community and employing people, which is very important to me," she said. “I’ve had many employees over the years. Lots of great people who have worked for me who have gone on to other great things. And I hope to think I was a part of that.”

"I’m running to make a difference in the State House. One person can make a difference. If you take a stand and you’re a leader and you’re kind and loving to people, you can make a difference and that’s what I want to do in my community."

Coronavirus

When asked what needs to be done to help people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Luce said, “First off I want to say that I think it’s an individual responsibility for people to take precautions as they see fit. We live in an America that’s free. We have responsible people that can take precautions. We’ve been told what they are: washing your hands, putting masks on and distancing.

She is concerned about the mental health of families, children and peoples’ jobs during the pandemic. “It’s a hard balance. She said she doesn't have all the answers and doesn't think anyone does either. "We definitely have to be together in this and work together.”

Climate change

Luce sees changes all the time in the world, climate and otherwise. "I’m not a believer that the government is necessarily going to help us. We have to be responsible with what we do as individuals,” she said.

What she does believe in is community. She sees people doing many things that are an important part of being prepared for “any kind of changes that come our way.”

These things include recycling, friends and neighbors composting food and growing their own food, fishing and hunting.

She points out that these are things her grandparents did and still do. Her husband's father is 92-years-old and "has a 2 1/2 acre garden where he grows and feeds most of South Hope and delivers the food to them. That’s something that’s very important in these times,” she said.

Broadband

Increased funding for broadband internet is a place where Luce thinks “we could use our government money wisely.”

“I have talked to many people going out knocking on doors, and one thing that they have said to me is we need to have internet for our children.”

This is especially needed where children are using the internet for school and remote learning, she said.. She sees how hard it is for families in income brackets where they need internet, but don’t have it. Broadband internet is also needed by “young people coming in to our area who could move here and do their job if they had good access to the internet,” she said. “I’m 100 percent for doing anything we can to make that happen in the state of Maine.”

Womens' reproductive rights

Reproductive rights is very close to my heart, Luce said. “I’m a pro-life believer. I believe that God created me and that life starts at conception. I believe that we have to protect life.”

She also believes in helping a people who are trying to make those decisions.

“I think we as a community need to come around and give choices for young women and not shame people,” she said. “Sometimes decisions are made in a very dark, lonely place. I want to be a light in that lonely place to that mother or that young man or a couple that are trying to make a decision.”

She believes in being a good leader, kindness and “being there for the people who need us to be there.”

Gun rights

“I don’t feel we need any gun control for law abiding citizens,” Luce said. “And that’s very important, because we have many gun laws.

“We have many gun owners who are extremely careful and teach their children the right way to use a gun,” she said. That is personal responsibility and what she expects.

Luce “grew up in a huge hunting family,” and was taught how to use a gun when she was a girl. Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather hunted on Hatchet Mountain and the other side of her family hunted on Howe Hill. Hunting was to feed the family, as well as to control the animal population, which is needed for the animals to be healthy, she said.

On the other hand, she has been in many situations with people who are mentally ill and need help. “Should those people have guns? Absolutely not.”

An encourager

One thing Luce wants people to know is, she is an encourager.

“If somebody needs someone to stand beside them – that’s Molly. That’s me. I’ll stand up with ya.”

On her mind right now is schools starting up again. “There’s so many people involved in schools starting.There’s so many moving pieces and parts,” she said.

“We need to be kind to our school teachers and our bus drivers. I would just ask everyone out there – encourage someone. Give someone a note this week. Be kind.”

Young families and lots and lots of grandparents who are bringing up their grandchildren are also on her mind.

“We have to be kind to each other. When you see a young mother struggling on the sidewalk, just say, you know what mom ‘you’re doing a good job,’” she said.

Another thing she wants people to know is “I’m a Republican, but I want people to know that I love my creator.”

“When I go to make a decision, I’m gonna make it in a very responsible way that encompasses my whole district. Being a representative means you represent all of the people of your community,” she said.

"I want people to know that my door is open," she said. "You can come talk to me, tell me your issues, and I will do the best I can to sift through them and do what I can to make a difference."

Election 2020 - Molly Luce - Candidate: Maine House District #95
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