By Rose Miller, Staff Writer
Recently declared Congressional Candidate Emily Cain, visited a small group of students in a low-key meeting hosted by the College Democrats where she addressed various issues facing Maine in addition to discussing her upcoming campaign.
For those unfamiliar, Cain served 10 years in the state legislature beginning at the age of 24, two years of which were spent as minority leader in the House. This past election she ran for Mike Michuad’s vacated congressional seat for Maine’s 2nd district in 2014 but lost to Bruce Poliquin.
While Cain did discuss some of her positions on specific issues, the discourse between her and students mostly revolved around the development of her political career and ideals as well as the campaigning process. Cain’s tone was sincere but conversational and many students and the one community member in attendance took advantage of the setting to ask the candidate questions.
For instance, it was a student question that prompted Cain to reveal a bit about her stance on health care, stating she felt that the Affordable Care Act was working “from a coverage prospective” and that it was a “missed opportunity that Maine didn’t expand Medicaid under the affordable care act.” She instead suggested the adoption of a Single-Payer system.
In an interview following the meeting, Cain expanded upon her personal legislative experience and what she plans to bring to the table in Washington. “To me, when you get elected and you go to serve an office, you really do your best work when you find an ability to work across the aisle,” said Cain over the background chatter of lingering club members. “And that for me, in my ten years in Augusta, has been primarily defined by balancing very difficult budgets.”
She also expressed a desire to be part of a gradual change in Congress that would take a step away from divisive legislating. “You have to send somebody there who has the real track record of working across the aisle, making the tough decisions, of working hard to find that consensus.” Legislative work conducted with Republican Governor Paul LePage also stands on Cain’s record as an example of bipartisan cooperation.
Throughout the group discussion and during the interview Cain repeatedly referenced her dedication to Mainers and issues that are important to them such as economic opportunity and stability. She explained that in DC, she would be likely to sit on committees that focus on issues that impact the 2nd congressional district directly, such as agriculture, small business, and veterans.
With the election more than a year away, Cain’s been asked why she choose to throw her hat in the ring so early. Cain stated that the opportunity to “capture some of the momentum from the last campaign,” as well as simply having more time to travel the state could both prove to be valuable benefits to jumping in now.
And Cain isn’t the only one starting the ball rolling so early. Poliquin has already begun fundraising to the tune of almost $8,000 a day. To Cain this reads as a sign that the Congressman is aware he may be in for a fight to keep his seat. “Maine 2nd district is absolutely in play,” said Cain. “It’s a sign to me that I’ve absolutely made the right decision to start running.”
In regards to Cain’s upcoming run for office, Nick Bray, organizer of the event and co-chair of the College Democrats explained that the club will be eager to contribute to her campaign. “That’ll be something that we’ll coordinate here with the College Dems,” said Bray. “What we’ll try to work on is to build up a base of support for Emily and have those students help out on her campaign.” However this endeavor and other projects may prove difficult to achieve according to Bray due to the club’s currently low membership.
Bray’s invite to the College Democrats was not Cain’s first visit to UMF and isn’t likely to be her last as she readily answered she would be more than willing to return to speak to students and faculty about the issues they care about. “I want students to know that they can trust me to look out for them not just now but for where they’re headed,” said Cain. Therefore, UMF voters should keep their eyes peeled for Cain and other congressional candidates around campus as the fall of 2016 approaches.For those who wish to gain experience working on a campaign, Cain is offering internships for the spring, summer, and fall of 2015. Interested students should contact Sarah Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.