A veteran Republican legislator from Waldoboro and a Democrat who ran in the 2010 election are vying for the state Senate District 20 seat recently vacated by Republican David Trahan.

A special election to fill the seat with either Dana Dow of Waldoboro or Christopher Johnson of Somerville is set for Feb. 14. Absentee ballots are available now at town offices.

The district covers 20 towns in Lincoln County, including Jefferson, Somerville, and Whitefield; plus Windsor in Kennebec County and Friendship and Washington in Knox County.

State Rep. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, 60, who holds the District 50 seat in the House, is hoping to switch back to the state Senate, where he represented District 20 seat for four years. District 50 includes Bremen, Nobleboro, Waldoboro and part of Jefferson.

“If I win, I’d resign (from the House) as soon as the Secretary of State says that I’ve won,” Dow said.

He said it’s unlikely that a special election would follow to fill that House seat because the earliest it could be held is April. The Legislative session is scheduled to end in mid-April.

The poor economy forced him to leave the Senate seat and move to the House, he said. Dow and his wife, who have four children and two grandchildren, own Dow Furniture stores in Waldoboro and Augusta. Now, with the economy holding steady — which he described as “the new normal” — he wants back in the Senate.

“I’ve worked across the aisle; that’s my strength,” he said. “I do what the people ask in the sense that they want us to go to Augusta and get along and get things done.”

Dow said he took the lead on the regional greenhouse gas initiative and was floor leader for the Kids Safe Chemical Act and worked with leading Democrats on consumer protection and banking industry bills.

On Saturday he was campaigning door to door in Wiscasset and then heading to a watch his son, who is on the Medomak Valley High School basketball team — where Dow formerly taught chemistry and physics — play Oak Hill High School in Wales.

This weekend, Johnson, 55, a director of information technology for DeskNet, a technology company based in Portland and Jersey City, N.J., and a former employee of Central Maine Power Company, campaigned in Dow’s hometown.

Johnson is using some of last year’s vacation time to make a push on his door-to-door efforts.

Johnson received 6,390 in his last bid for the state Senate seat in a three-way race that included an independent.

He represents Somerville on the board of directors for Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 and served on the Lincoln County Regional Planning Committee. He has served as moderator for Somerville’s annual Town Meeting for many years.

He offers information about himself and his stances on issues on his website at chrisjohnsonforstatesenator.org

“I think we need to do a lot of things better in the state so our children and grandchildren can have a decent opportunity,” Johnson said. He said we need to find replacements for lost industries and jobs.

Johnson said he supports investing in infrastructure improvements — roads and bridges — as well as research and development.

Johnson said a model of a successful project is that under way at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, which has used grants to expand and hire new staff, including top marine scientists. Johnson said it’s green and in keeping with Maine’s character.

“I think it’s really important we focus on the things that are important to Maine people, like creating jobs,” Johnson said. He and his wife have two daughters and two granddaughters.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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