DIXFIELD — After a teaching career spanning nearly four decades and a four-year stint as selectman, Malcolm “Mackie” Gill officially has announced he is running for the Maine House of Representatives.

Gill said that he is hoping to fill the seat held by Sheryl Briggs, who will leave office this year due to the term-limit law.

“At first, this was the last thing on my mind, but I was convinced by some good people that I should do it,” Gill said Friday.

Gill said that it was a visit to an Oxford County Democrats meeting that set him on the path toward the House of Representatives.

He said Kathy Newell, chairman with the Oxford County Democratic Committee, said he should consider running.

“At the time, I wasn’t really sure if it was something I wanted to do,” Gill said. “Later, my wife and I were invited to the caucus in Augusta and got the grand tour. While we were sitting in on their meeting, Sheryl Briggs recognized us in the audience, and all of the Democrats there stood and and applauded. I was thinking to myself, ‘This is pretty special.'”

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Gill said, “After that, I told my wife, ‘You’ve got to be on board for this, too. Otherwise, I’m not doing it.’ She told me, ‘You’ve got to do this.’”

Since then, Gill has appointed Tim Kelly, his former principal at T.W Kelly/Dirigo Middle School, as his campaign manager and treasurer, visited the Ethics Committee and signed on as a Clean Election candidate. He has begun collecting signatures and donations from residents in his district.

“I could probably get all the signatures in Dixfield, but I wanted to try and visit every town in the district,” Gill said. “I got some signatures in Hartford, Canton and Peru, in addition to Dixfield.”

Briggs currently serves as the District 93 representative, which serves the towns of Canton, Dixfield, Hartford, Mexico and Peru.

“Carthage was recently removed following the recent redistricting efforts,” Gill said. “Hartford was added.”

Before he began to collect donations and signatures, Gill said he took a class at the end of September that showed potential candidates “how to go about running a campaign and how to present yourself to the people.”

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Gill said that he’s had the help of state Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, Briggs, Kelly and his wife, Maureen Boyce Gill, to guide him forward.

“John has been exceptionally helpful, and Sheryl has given me so much great advice and already helped so much,” Gill said. “I can’t thank Kathy Newell enough. She seems to have all the answers to my questions.”

But most of all, Gill said he’s thankful to his wife, who he considers his “No. 1 supporter, my best friend” and someone who has always been there for him.

“Right now, we’re both enjoying the trip,” Gill said. “It’s been an interesting experience.”

Gill added that if he’s elected in November, he would continue as selectman, though it would likely be his last term.

“I’ve already told the rest of the selectmen that this year will be my last year serving as chairman,” Gill said. “After that, I’ll continue on as a selectman, but someone else will take over as chairman. I was told there wouldn’t be any problem with me serving as both district representative and selectman, if I’m elected. I just want to be able to give back to the people. It’s the reason I became a selectman, and the reason I want to do this now.”

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Among the talking points Gill said he’d like to address if he were elected are “protecting the interests of all retired people” and “saving them from losing their homes and lifestyles from increasing property taxes brought on by the state balancing their budget on the backs of the towns.”

He added that he hopes to support “a strong educational system that is based on learning and not teaching mandated assessments,” to “show support for every man and woman to earn an equal and livable wage with fair benefits,” and to protect the rights “of every worker to unionize and engage in collective bargaining.”

“I’m a retired teacher, so education and retirees are important to me,” Gill said.

Gill graduated from Dixfield Regional High School in 1967 and attended Salem State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1971.

He served as a public school teacher for 38 years and taught at T.W Kelly/Dirigo Middle School for 23 of those years as a fifth-grade teacher.

In addition to his career in education, he served as a Maine Parks and Recreation employee at Mt. Blue State Park for 24 summers, an inspector with Home Insurance Liability for 21 years and has worked on the Ione Harlow Scholarship Committee for 20 years.

[email protected]


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