A Green Independent, Democrat and Republican are vying for the Maine House seat vacated by Republican Rep. Frederick Wintle after he was accused of pointing a handgun at a stranger.

It’s the first time each candidate has run for elected office. Green Independent Lesley Maynard, 49, of Charleston, is that town’s deputy clerk. Democrat David Pearson, 62, of Dexter, is Sangerville town manager. And Republican Raymond Wallace, 65, of Dexter, was a patent maker for Dexter Shoe Company.

The deadline for people to announce their candidacy to the Maine Department of the Secretary of State was Tuesday. Residents in House District 24, which serves the Somerset County towns of Athens, Harmony and Ripley and the Penobscot County towns of Dexter, Garland and Charleston, will vote for their new representative on Nov. 8.

The winner will fill the remaining year of Wintle’s term. Wintle, of Garland, resigned Sept. 13 and faces charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

* Maynard, a Green Independent, has been the deputy clerk for the town of Charleston for six years. “For a long time I’ve been one of those Monday morning politicians,” she said. “I thought it was about time I went out and tried to see what I could do.”

She runs the general assistance program in Charleston and said more people are asking for help for the first time. “They worked their whole lives and suddenly they can’t make it,” she said.

She said she’s concerned about the over-regulation of small businesses and wants to find ways to help employers.

“If we don’t get a handle on how we’re spending our money, more and more people are going to be losing what they have,” she said.

“I like Paul LePage. I think he’s working very hard to get businesses back here.”

She said she opposes gay marriage. And she supports same-day voter registration. Though it takes a few more minutes of the clerk’s time to register somebody, she said, it’s important for as many people as possible to vote.

She did not attend college, she said, and as a single mother has worked a number of jobs to earn a paycheck. She milked cows at Maple Lane Farms in Charleston and was a nurse’s aid at Hibbard Nursing Home in Dover-Foxcroft.

“I understand how you have to scrape money through” and balance a budget, she said.

Maynard is the treasurer of Charleston Public Library and was director there for three years.

* Pearson, a Democrat, became Sangerville’s town manager about a month ago and previously was Dexter town manager for four years. Working at the municipal level, he said he sees the state shifting costs to towns.

“There are some inequities there that have been building up,” he said.

Also a licensed real estate appraiser and certified Maine assessor, Pearson said he worries that reducing regulations on big businesses will affect Maine’s quality of life.

“I don’t see the GOP as being particularly concerned about economic justice or being particularly concerned that people receive services,” he said.

Pearson received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Maine and for about 10 years in the 1970s ran an organic farm in Parkman. He said he is saddened by “this rush here to deregulate environmental laws.”

“We’ve got to figure out a way to get big money out of politics,” he added. “Money in politics leads to corruption. I support clean elections. I support the sort of things that will insulate elected officials from the influence of big money.”

He has experience as a bail commissioner and said he supports reforming domestic violence and bail laws.

He supports gay marriage, saying, “I don’t see any reason why that should be denied to people.”

Same-day voter registration did not need to be repealed, he said: “The same people who object to a waiting period to buy a gun are demanding a waiting period to vote. To me, that’s an incredible double standard.”

* Wallace, a Republican, created shoes for Dexter Shoe Company until it closed in 2001. Especially because of that closure, the area’s main need is for jobs, he said.

“We’ve lost almost everything since Dexter Shoe closed. We’re very much in need of some type of industry,” he said.

Wallace later worked for three years at Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, issuing credit and debit cards. He then took a job in New York City for more than three years, working as a patent design engineer for Coach Industries, which makes luxury handbags.

He wants to be a representative because “we now have a governor that has the same ideas I do, and I feel this is the time the state can really make some changes,” he said.

Wallace served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 and spent 13 months in Vietnam, he said. He’s a member of the Kiwanis Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, both in Dexter. He has been board chairman for both the Dexter Municipal Golf Course and the credit union.

He did not attend college. “My whole education has been work,” he said.

He opposes same-day voter registration largely because of the extra work it causes town clerks, he said. “If people are that interested they can get out beforehand,” he said.

He also opposes gay marriage, saying, “I feel that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

He supports Gov. Paul LePage’s efforts to “free the regulations up to get businesses back in the state.”

The Land Use Regulation Commission “has way, way too much authority,” he said, and decisions about development in the unorganized territories should be made by county commissioners.

Wintle is facing charges for allegedly pointing a .22-caliber handgun at Michael Seamans, of Sidney. Seamans, a photographer for the Morning Sentinel, was stopping for coffee on the way to work.

Wintle is scheduled to appear for a status conference Dec. 7 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]


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