Brian Kresge with his family
Brian Kresge with his family
Republican Brian Kresge of Winterport will succeed Rep. James Gillway (R-Searsport) in a run for House District 98, which includes the towns of Searsport, Frankfort, Swanville and Winterport. Gillway is prohibited from running again due to term limits. Kresge will likely face Democrat Scott Cuddy of Winterport in the general election. A 41-year-old business software developer, Kresge ran unsuccessfully for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a Democrat in 2014 and 2016. After moving to Maine, he made a brief run last year for Maine’s Second District Congressional seat as a Libertarian. He says he was recruited by Waldo County GOP because it needed more political moderates running for office.

“I’ve worked for Democratic candidates, I’ve been a Democratic candidate, but I realized over the years that there was just no economic narrative for rural America coming from the Democratic Party in the state of Pennsylvania or in the state of Maine,” said Kresge. “There are a lot of things that I still agree with Democrats about, but the economic narrative that I have seen since moving here has been driven by local GOP state candidates. Not necessarily the governor, but definitely a lot of local representatives just really moved the needle in trying to get businesses and jobs into the area.”

Kresge has served in the 101st Airborne Dvision in the US Army and in the Pennsylvania and Maine National Guard. He also served as the coalition director for Jewish Outreach on Libertarian Gary Johnson’s 2016 presidential campaign. If elected, Kresge says his priorities will be to support the revenue sharing program, the Maine Ocean School in Searsport, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in general. He says he also supports restorative justice, which focuses on rehabilitation for criminal offenders.