May 24, 2019

Southern Aroostook County voters to select legislators

HOULTON — Voters who reside in southern Aroostook County will decide who will serve in the Legislature from two house districts and a senate district when they go to the polls next month.

In House District 140, which includes most of the towns south of Houlton, Carl B. Smith, D-Island Falls, is seeking re-election to a sixth term.

Smith favors a restitution program for people convicted of non-violent crimes as one way to ease overcrowding of the state’s correctional facilities. Those people would work to pay their room and board while incarcerated, and would take care of their dependents and pay for damage that resulted from their crime.

He also believes the state should pay for programs it mandates at the local level as a means of reducing the property-tax burden.

Smith is being challenged by Republican candidate Rodney V. Bowers of Sherman Mills.

Bowers, a licensed funeral director, has operated funeral homes in Sherman, Island Falls and Patten for 40 years and has served on several funeral-service-related boards. He is a member of Anah Temple Shrine and a member of the Island Falls Lions Club.

He would like to see additional improvements made in the quality of education in the state and more efforts made to protect the environment. He also has indicated that he would like to see more training offered for people who have lost their jobs as a result of the economic slowdown.

Also up for grabs is House District 141 which comprises Houlton and Littleton. The seat is held by Nason S. Graham, D-Houlton.

Graham, serving his first term, is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Business Legislation and the Joint Standing Committee on Housing and Economic Development.

A businessman and former member of the Houlton Town Council and Board of Budget Review, he has called for changes in Workers’ Compensation and supports a plan for a state-run Workers’ Compensation insurance company. He also has sponsored legislation to address issues related to the level of care provided to the state’s senior citizens.

He is being challenged by Republican candidate Theresa Wood of Houlton, a retired nurse at Houlton Regional Hospital.

Wood feels that her 35 years of experience as a nurse would help her deal more effectively with issues that involve health, occupational health and safety and AIDS. She also feels that her medical skills and training can help her deal more effectively with issues concerning waste and the environment.

Sen. Margaret Ludwig, R-Houlton, is seeking a third term as senator from District 3, which includes 50 communities in Aroostook, Washington and Penobscot counties.

She has cited the experiences of her previous two terms in office as having provided her with valuable experience in understanding the complexities of state government and a platform from which best to work for the needs of her constituents.

She has served on legislative committees including the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the state Advisory Commission on Radioactive Waste, and the Land Conservation and Economic Development Commission.

She introduced legislation that allowed off-duty police officers to raise money for the law enforcement officers memorial in Augusta.

Ludwig is being challenged by Russell F. Taylor Jr. of Ludlow, who also challenged Ludwig in 1988.

A teacher in SAD 70 and town manager for Ludlow, Taylor has called for an increase in the state’s income tax as one way to help offset the negative impact of the state’s budget problems.

He favors an increase in state aid to education, as well as measures that would require full or increased amounts of state funding of mandated programs.

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