A member of the Pittsfield Town Council is challenging an incumbent state representative in the race to represent House District 106, which consists of Pittsfield, Clinton and Detroit.

Both Scott Strom, a Republican on the Pittsfield council, and Rep. Stanley Short, D-Pittsfield, said job creation is a priority in their district, which was hit hard with the shutdown of the UTC manufacturing plant in 2015.

Short, 65, was first elected to the Legislature in 2012 and is hoping to secure a third term. He is retired from a career in welding and labor relations.

A Democrat, Short withdrew from the party in 2015 because he felt it wasn’t paying enough attention to the working class and jobs, but he re-enrolled about four months later.

“I read a quote that said, ‘You can’t clean a house from the outside,’ and I thought that fit pretty well with my situation,” he said. “The only way for me to get my point across and hopefully get the caucus to pay more attention to working people and job creation was to get back into the party.”

Strom, 42, works at New Balance in Norridgewock, and previously he served 20 years in the Navy.

Short said more needs to be done to attract business to the area and that as a member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee in the Legislature, he would like to see an investment in the state’s fish stocking program, something he said could help boost tourism and create jobs.

Strom also emphasized a need to bring more business to the Pittsfield area and said that while he would like to focus on attracting small businesses, the area also needs to be open to corporate business, such as a new Dunkin’ Donuts in Pittsfield, the opening of which he helped facilitate as a town councilor.

Strom also said he would like to see more funding for vocational programs in high schools so students can graduate and get jobs in the area in fields such as welding and plumbing.

When it comes to Maine’s referendum questions, Short said he favors raising the minimum wage, opposes marijuana legalization and opposes universal background checks for gun purchases, legislation that he said would be “way overboard.”

Strom opposes raising the minimum wage and instituting universal background checks but said that while he is leaning toward opposing marijuana legalization, he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“Personally, it’s something I don’t want to see pass, but I do have a bit of a libertarian part of me that says if adults want to do that, (they should be able to),” he said. “My biggest concern is I feel the proposal is poorly written.”

Strom also noted Maine Attorney General Janet Mills’ recent statement that she finds the proposal “troublesome” because it would repeal existing statutory language that is used to prosecute cases of possession by minors.

He said running for office is something he always has wanted to do. “I developed a love of government and politics back in high school, and even in the Navy I was always very active in politics, helping with campaigns, things like that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Short said he is committed to continuing to work for the district.

“I’ve always been concerned with the welfare of my fellow human beings and I want to do everything I can to help them provide a better life themselves and their families,” he said.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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