Sam Hunkler Biography

Sam Hunkler is a semi-retired healthcare provider on Beals Island, a small year-round community connected by a bridge to Jonesport in Washington County.

Sam Hunkler has over 35 years of experience as a family doctor. He retired in 2021 and is running for election for Governor of Maine under the Independent party. Although Sam has never run for public office before, he declared his candidacy for the general election scheduled on November 8, 2022

Hunkler was born in Ohio and he’s currently 65 years old and the youngest of the three Maine Governorship Candidates. He served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and later earned an M.D. and began practicing medicine.

Here is a brief biography of Sam Hunkler:

Full NameSam Hunkler
Age65 years old
Political PartyIndependent Party
ProfessionFamily Doctor

Sam Hunkler Early Life

Sam Hunkler was born in 1957 in Ohio. However, he made different areas of Maine his home at many points during his adulthood, including Lewiston, Ellsworth, and Blue Hill.

Sam is the son of a telephone company employee and a stay-at-home mother. He’s the eighth of nine children from the coal mining and farming town of Barnesville, but he knew at a young age he wanted to study medicine. According to him, his family wasn’t poor but also didn’t have a lot.

Sam Hunkler Education

He went back to Ohio, finished high school, and went to Oberlin College for undergraduate studies before joining the Peace Corps as an English and science teacher. He then graduated from medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Sam Hunkler Family

While serving in the Peace Corps in Kenya, he met his wife, Kelly, a Maine native. The couple has four grown children. One was born in Cleveland, two were born in Lewiston, and the fourth was born in Alaska. Currently, three of the children live in Maine, the fourth lives in Washington, D.C., while Sam and his wife live in Beals.

Sam Hunkler Career

After he finished medical school Sam and Kelly moved to Greene, Maine while he did his residency at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

He then spent 3 years in the Indian Health Service in Alaska as a National Health Service Scholar before returning to Maine and settling in Beals. He “retired from the medical system” in 2021, but continues a small local practice.

According to Sam, “When I first started out, I was a doctor, then I became a biller, then a coder, then a secretary, then a referrals person, and all these other things I spent 40% of my time doing that just really for most doctors is just so frustrating,” he said. “We spend so much of our time not being doctors.”

Sam Hunkler Political Career

Sam Hunkler

According to Sam, his interest in politics began with a suggestion from his father while he was still a student. Though he chose a medical career, in his senior year in high school he was president of the student council, president of his class, president of the National Honor Society, president of the Key Club, captain of the football team, and artist of the year.

He claimed that he’s running for office to lead Maine on an independent path, away from partisan bickering and special-interest agendas, and toward government by and for the people. His clear message is “let’s find common ground with common sense for the common good.”

The two other candidates on the ballot, Democrat Janet Mills and Republican Paul LePage, have each already raised over a million dollars. But Sam’s plan is to enlist the direct help of Mainers – to make signs, organize speaking engagements, and spread the word.

Considering the forthcoming governor race, it’s certain that Sam would face a difficult path to competing against well-known, longtime politicians who will undoubtedly spend millions on television ads, radio spots, and those large glossy mailers that have become prevalent in recent election cycles.

For Sam, he said he will put $5,000 of his own money into the campaign — in addition to travel costs. He said he doesn’t want donations but relies on volunteer staff. This means that Sam’s success in the forthcoming election is mainly at the mercy of Mainers.

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