Two Waterville Republicans are facing off to win their party’s nomination for House District 109 state representative in Tuesday’s state primary election.

Richard Foss

Richard Foss Jr., a sitting city councilor, and Edward Cohen, who said he is running on a single issue, are seeking the party’s backing in the primary to mount a run to unseat the incumbent, Democrat Bruce White, who is unopposed in the primary round.

Foss, 46, represents Ward 5 on the Waterville City Council, having unseated Democrat Jay Coelho in November 2019.

A network systems analyst, Foss believes he can address some of the state’s pressing issues if elected state representative, among them “unemployment rates, drugs pouring into our state, over regulation of industry, taxation, our youth leaving the state.”

He also believes that Democrats and Republicans should find common ground to address these problems.

“I will work hard and hold myself accountable on every vote I take,” Foss said in an email Wednesday. “I will be present on all votes, not just the easy ones but the tough ones as well.”

A veteran, Foss said he will co-sponsor legislation that helps those “who have fought for our rights as a free nation.”

He describes himself as a fiscal conservative and said he would work with others who seek to lower the tax burden “so more dollars can be spent in Maine owned businesses.”

He said that one of his first bills “will be to tackle prescription drugs prices that so many of our seniors struggle with every day.” 

Edward Cohen, Foss’ opponent in the primary, said there’s only one important issue in the state: “Foss shut down the city on March 16.”

Foss was a member of a council subcommittee along with Mayor Nick Isgro, City Council Chairman Erik Thomas, City Manager Michael Roy, and councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, who met in secret, not allowing public access to its deliberations, and made unlawful decisions, such as temporarily suspending the city’s plastic bag ban, according to the city’s solicitor, William A. Lee III.

On Monday, March 16, the panel unilaterally announced that Waterville restaurants and bars needed to shut down. The group also announced the suspension of the city’s plastic bag ban for 90 days and was set to spend up to $150,000 from city reserves and to make other decisions concerning the public health and welfare.

The Council voted 6-0 to dissolve the subcommittee on Thursday, March 26.

Cohen, who did not provide a photo of himself, believes people should vote for him because he “didn’t shut down the city on March 16.”

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