House candidate Nathalie Arruda of Orland
House candidate Nathalie Arruda of Orland
Democrat Nathalie Arruda of Orland is challenging incumbent Rep. Karl Ward (R-Dedham) in House District 131, which comprises the towns of Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot, Prospect, Stockton Springs and Verona Island. Arruda currently works as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of three children. She also works part-time as a community activist, campaigner and Uber driver and has a background in early childhood development. Arruda said she decided to run for office after years of being involved in political organizing and advocating various progressive causes.

“I’ve been pretty involved in all levels and so I feel confident in my ability to do the job in Augusta,” said Arruda. “I am entirely about the issue of economic justice, and I think that is something that touches everybody. There’s 99 percent of the population that understands what it’s like to be worrying about things like heating our homes, keeping our cars maintained, paying for our homes and the cost of education. So many people have seen their wages stagnate or decline for such a long period of time and people are frustrated. I think that’s something that touches people completely across the board.”

Arruda said her priorities will be to achieve universal health care and investments in education and broadband Internet. She says she would like to see increased support for education from pre-school to grade 12 and free tuition for students attending community colleges. Arruda supports more investment in renewable energy and incentivizing the installation of solar energy.

“I fully support sustainable and clean and renewable energy,” said Arruda. “I think that we should be doing whatever we can to convert our usage of fossil fuels over to renewable energy sources so we can stop polluting the environment, depleting what our earth has to offer and making the air and water toxic around us.”