The Maine State House towers over a fog bank rising from the Kennebec River on a chilly morning, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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If you live in Belfast, Belmont, or Northport you will have the opportunity to re-elect Rep. Jan Dodge to represent Maine House District 39 on Nov. 8. Dodge is a hardworking, knowledgeable, honest, responsive, passionate advocate for education and the retired. Having taught and lived in Belfast, I have known Dodge for over 40 years. She is a fighter. I have contacted her on several statewide retirement and education issues and she always has listened, asked me for information and input, and has responded to requests for help. She answers every email and phone call.

As the chairperson for the  MEA Retired Legislative Committee, I have worked closely with Dodge on several bills. She spoke on the House floor in support of a budget amendment to increase retiree health insurance coverage from 45 percent to 55 percent. This measure was passed. After years of testimony and support of a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired state employees, Dodge, with the help of others, has become synonymous with this work. This measure was passed. Dodge’s anti-food shaming in Maine schools bill was also passed. Dodge is working to make people’s lives better every day.

Her experience working in the Maine Legislature on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and several caucuses makes her ready to get back to work on day one. Jan Dodge will make an outstanding Maine Representative for District 39, working for all the people.

Crystal Ward