Two small-business owners with different views of how to create more jobs are competing for the House District 86 seat, representing Madison, Norridgewock and Solon.
Democrat Ann Dorney, 59, is a physician who owned Skowhegan Family Medicine. She has worked in the health care industry and dealt specifically with narcotics abuse, something that she says has made her aware of the need for jobs.
Her opponent, Republican Edward Goff, 28, is the former owner of Skowhegan Equipment Rental in Skowhegan and the owner of Butler’s Carwash in Madison and Skowhegan. He said that bringing affordable energy to the area and expanding educational opportunities would attract business investors and in turn create more jobs.
Dorney said her role as physician gives her added insight into area problems.
“I have a lot of people tell me their problems and I think it has given me a good understanding of the community and its issues.”
She said that there is a potential to create more jobs by insulating homes and investing in alternative energy.
“If we could insulate our houses, we could create many local jobs doing it and it would save people a lot of money in heating costs,” she said. “Maine could be a leader in alternative energy.”
Goff is also a supporter of alternative energy and said he thinks the state could benefit from partnering with Canada to bring more affordable power to the area. He said that he thinks the state should also eliminate the 100 megawatt cap on hydro power.
“By doing that we would put more green hydro power on the grid,” he said.
Goff is a supporter of a natural gas pipeline through central Maine and said that if elected, he would work to see that it happens soon. “I think it is important to a lot of businesses, not just New Balance and Madison Paper, but also for small businesses,” he said.
Dorney supports agriculture as a way to economically revitalize many parts of the state.
“If you look at what has created jobs in this area, agriculture seems to be expanding all the time,” she said. She cited the Backyard Farms greenhouse produce operation in Madison and the Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan as two examples of agricultural models that could be copied.
“There is a lot of potential for growing food in central Maine and it keeps the money right here,” she said.
Goff said that as a young small-business owner — he took over his first business, Skowhegan Equipment and Tool Rental, when he was 25 — he is attuned to the challenges of young people in the area as well as the obstacles to operating a small business.
He would like to see educational options expand at every level. He said he is a supporter of charter schools because they offer choice to students whose needs are not being met in the traditional school system and he is also in favor of more post-secondary educational options.
“Our community colleges have seen good progress,” he said. “By investing in these programs as well as technical programs and vocational schools we are training a work force that will attract more business to the state.”
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368