PALERMO — Pam Swift, MD, a Democrat from Palermo, has announced her candidacy for Maine’s House of Representatives in District 62, which includes the communities of Palermo, China, Somerville, Windsor, and Hibberts Gore.
“With decades of work experience in both healthcare and agriculture, I understand that the well-being of our families is fundamentally tied to affordable healthcare, access to nutritious food, and the health of our soil, air, and water,” Swift said. “My education and lived experience will make mine a valuable voice in the Maine Legislature.”
Swift has deep family roots in Maine, tracing three previous generations to Bangor, Bucksport, and Stockton Springs — where she has fond memories of ice skating on the beaver pond as a child and sledding down her grandparents’ driveway with her dog riding on her back. Swift also recalls helping her grandmother plant lobelia and geraniums in her flower garden, worrying a late frost might kill the tender plants.
Swift earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science with the intention of becoming a veterinarian, but later decided to pursue a medical degree. After graduating from medical school and completing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology, Swift joined a large practice that specialized in high-risk obstetrical cases, where she worked her way up to full business partner.
After 23 years practicing medicine, Swift returned to her animal science roots and purchased a farm in Palermo with her husband, Don, where they raise grass-fed sheep, free-range organic laying hens, and acorn-fattened pigs.
Swift is serving her second term on the select board in Palermo. Although the board’s three members span the political spectrum, according to Swift’s news release, they work together with the common goal of doing what’s best for the community as a whole.
Most recently, the select board worked cooperatively with the Palermo Volunteer Fire Department and Liberty Ambulance to create a new service for Palermo residents that will provide a more rapid response as well as a higher level of emergency medical care.
As a representative, Swift would focus on ensuring her neighbors have access to affordable healthcare, reducing the cost of prescription medications, and preventing and treating opioid addiction, a news release stated.
She is also interested in issues related to food sovereignty, supporting Maine’s small family farms, and dealing with the threat imposed by PFAS (or forever chemicals), according to the release.
Regarding the environment, Swift noted in the release observable changes that concern her. Due to drought, there have been years where she’s had to start feeding her sheep hay in August instead of December because the grass didn’t grow back after the first round of grazing, per the release. This dramatically increases the cost of production.
Also, milder winters mean more ticks in the spring and fall resulting in a higher risk of contracting tick-borne diseases, not just for people, but for horses, cattle, and dogs as well. And brown-tailed moths, the new scourge, are negatively impacting both quality of life and businesses — especially those involving tourism, she said in the release.
“In my previous work as a physician, and now as a member of the select board, I have a proven record of working effectively with people from all walks of life,” Swift said. “As a candidate, my goal is to help create and pass legislation that will lead to healthy, fulfilling lives for my fellow Mainers.”
Swift, who has qualified for the ballot, is running as a Clean Elections candidate.