Langley, Linnehan square off in Senate District 7 primary

The Weekly Packet|06/25/2020

Langley, Linnehan square off in Senate District 7 primary
BLUE HILL—Registered Republican voters in District 7 will cast ballots in a contested July 14 primary race between Brian Langley, who represented the district from 2010-2018, and newcomer John Linnehan, an Ellsworth minister and businessman.
ANNE BERLEANT

District 7 includes Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Deer Isle, Sedgwick, Stonington and Surry, along with 22 other towns in Hancock County. Incumbent Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) is the sole candidate on the Democratic primary ticket.

Brian Langley, Ellsworth

Brian Langley, of Ellsworth, seeks to return to Augusta after terming out of the Senate District 7 seat in 2018. Owner of The Lobster Pot in Ellsworth, Langley said he entered the race to have the chance to work on a now-completed state economic development plan he helped develop. He has experience in four of the major areas covered in the plan: increasing the workforce (“I’ve spent my life doing that and continue to work on those issues.”); fisheries (“I spent six years on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council.”); forestry products (“I’ve worked with individuals, locally.”); and farm-to-table, (“I’ve helped foster food sovereignty and appropriate regulations for farmers.”), and cites his experience creating policy as needed to move the plan forward.

“Then the pandemic comes along,” he said.

Langley pointed to how, under former Governor Paul LePage, a one billion dollar budget shortfall was turned into a $140 million surplus. Looking ahead, “We’ll need people who’ve had real experience in those matters.”

He offers freezing budgets and a blanket curtailment across all departments as keys to curtailing the economic fallout from COVID-19, noting the bulk of the state budget is spent on education, health and human services, and corrections.

“If you look at those three pots of money, to get any savings you have to go there,” he said.

Langley is also running to address a Democrat-controlled legislature and executive branch that, for Langley, means no real strong public debate about issues. “My goal for running is trying to get a Republican-held senate,” he said. “When the real hard decisions need to be made over the next two years, one party rule will own the results for all of that, fairly or not. [The Democrats] would like to have some Republicans to blame and I have a thick skin.”

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06/25/2020