First-term state Rep. Timothy S. Theriault, a Republican from China, faces opposition in November from John M. Glowa Sr., also of China.

The candidates differ in some of their priorities, but both want to ensure water bodies are made clean, education is affordable and the economy is healthy.

Theriault says he wants to continue his work in Augusta and feels he has just begun to gain momentum in the two years he has been in state government.

“You need four years just to get your feet wet,” he said. “I have enjoyed it and now I hope I can be a little more effective — now that I know the ropes. I just am really good at helping my community, and I’ve always wanted to help.”

Jobs, taxes, advocating for seniors and veterans, and protecting the Second Amendment are priorities for Theriault, he said. Lake quality also is a concern, he said.

Glowa says that in his nearly 30 years working for the state he has learned a lot about how state government works and what doesn’t work. He said he wants to put his experience and education in economics and public administration to use in the state Legislature to help fix what he contends is a broken government.

“I intend to hit the ground running,” he said. “Since I’m retired, I can say and do anything I want, and it’s very freeing, refreshing to be able to do that. Unfortunately, one of the problems with government is that employees are basically muzzled and required to keep their heads down, keep to themselves. If there’s a problem, they can raise issues in-house.”

State government, he said, should reward and encourage state employees to speak publicly about matters that negatively affect people.

Theriault said he has local environmental concerns.

“We’re trying to clean up China Lake. Lovejoy Pond in Albion is dirty as anything. It’s terrible. It’s green as green can be. If we could figure out something that would work to clean it up, I’d be involved in it, but it takes time and money.”

China Lake quality has improved significantly since alewives were introduced in the lake, according to Theriault.

“They’re trying to remove the dams, and I’m not completely sold on that. I’d like to see fish lifts, but they’re more expensive.”

Glowa says there is a lack of checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches of state government. He proposes that every law and every program on the executive side be audited to ascertain not only what is being spent on them, but also to examine whether the programs do what they are supposed to do. He says he thinks more experienced, qualified and competent people are needed in state government and should run for office.

“I think we need to raise the bar for our elected officials,” he said.

A wildlife advocate for more than 20 years, Glowa says he has experience testifying before committees drafting legislation and working as an advocate for Maine residents, who own the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

Glowa founded the Maine Wolf Coalition in 1994 and said he wants to set the record straight on misinformation about his wolf advocacy that has been spread by people who oppose him.

“One of the fallacies about my support for wolves is that I want to bring wolves into Maine or introduce wolves into Maine,” he said.

While working for the state Department of Environmental Protection, he focused on water enforcement, but with the present administration, he was not able to do his job, he said, adding that several years ago, three staff worked in water enforcement and now only one full-time person does that work statewide.

“With a governor who is anti-DEP, anti-environment and anti-enforcement, the public’s money was wasted,” he said. “If we don’t have clean air and water, Maine as we know it is no longer going to exist.”

He believes tourism is Maine’s number one industry.

“We have to keep from kicking the goose that lays the golden egg,” he said. “We have to protect the environment.”

Glowa also believes education has to be made affordable so children and adults can prepare for a changing world, and the state needs to provide an environment where people want to grow businesses here. Small business, he said, is the backbone of the economy.

“If we can do that, then our economy is going to flourish. Our best days are yet to come,” he said.

Theriault says helping to keep people’s property taxes down also is one of his priorities.

“It’s easy to spend people’s money,” he said. “I don’t want to spend people’s money. I want to be very frugal. I want to do the best we can with their money to get the biggest bang for their buck.”

As to whether he would fight to return revenue sharing to municipalities that are not getting the amount of money they feel is due to them, Theriault said he understands their concern, but there is only so much money to go around.

“The towns certainly want their money, but it’s a game of semantics,” he said. “If we give them money for that, they don’t get money from something else. There’s only so much money, and if they get it for one issue, they don’t get it for another.”

Being frugal with money is key, according to Theriault.

“Revenue sharing is very important,” he said. “The state has been giving towns money for a long, long time and when you take that money away from them, they certainly feel the pinch.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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