MDP Chairman Bartlett says Maine’s next governor is going to have to confront this crisis and the Republican candidates aren’t stepping up:

Westbrook, MAINE – The number of Mainers who died from a drug-related overdose increased eleven percent last year, jumping from 376 people in 2016 to 418 in 2017. Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement in response:

"This is sad and tragic news for Maine – and it reflects the complete and utter failure of the LePage Administration to respond to one of our state’s most pressing problems. Not only has the governor failed to act in any meaningful way to address the opioid crisis, but he’s exacerbated it by actively working to restrict access to lifesaving treatment and anti-overdose medication.

"Abating this crisis needs to be one of the first priorities for Maine’s next governor. The Republican candidates, especially Mary Mayhew, have been in near lockstep with LePage’s failed policies and approach. But these statistics and the stories of the Mainers behind them tell the truth. 

"Will the Republican candidates put the interests of Maine people ahead of their allegiance to the governor and step up to say that his policies are not working and that we need to find a better way? Or will they continue to back failed leadership and failed policies while we lose more and more Mainers every day?”