Former state Rep. Randall Greenwood, R-Wales, is challenging Rep. Kent Ackley, I-Monmouth for his seat in the Maine House of Representatives.

District 82 covers part of Monmouth and the entirety of Litchfield and Wales.

Ackley, a 53-year-old registered Maine Guide and small business owner, has served two two-year terms in the seat. He said he is running because “there’s still plenty of work to be done.”

“I’m just starting to hit my stride as a representative of my three communities,” Ackley said. “I feel like I have a lot to contribute (as a) representative.”

Greenwood, a 47-year-old small business operator, said he was running to make a difference and find ways to keep young people in the state.

When I was a representative before, we had some positive impacts with the Gov. LePage administration,” he said. “I want to keep our young people here instead of moving away to find employment.”

Ackley said young Mainers would likely end up footing the bill for problems that are not addressed by older generations, such as greenhouse gas pollution. He said younger Mainers should push older Mainers to begin to address these issues.

Can we really honestly advertise ourselves as a haven for nature’s beauty when we allow a CMP corridor?” Ackley said. “It’s young people who are most likely to be unenrolled … and not vote. They ought to be concerned because someone else is going to make the decisions if they don’t.”

Greenwood, who spent a number of years as a Wales selectman and an Androscoggin County commissioner, said the biggest issue facing Maine with the next generation of voters is the reopening of the state and lifting restrictions from the “quote-unquote” coronavirus pandemic.

Greenwood, who was the District 82 representative from 2014 to 2016, said the lifting of restrictions would also positively affect education, reducing the need for remote learning. He said that is “nowhere near the level of education our children should be receiving.”

We need to take away the governor’s executive powers,” Greenwood said. “It’s time to reopen our state. Our curve has been flat for some time.”

When asked how he would increase state revenue or decrease state expenditures, Ackley said the state should learn from the pandemic, where many employees are forced to work from home, that many office spaces may not be needed.

He also said the legislature should look at the state’s tax-increment financing program, which he said was a “race to the bottom” for towns competing with each other to reduce property taxes for businesses.

“It causes shortfalls in municipal budgets that ultimately the state makes up for when we talk about revenue sharing and educational funding,” Ackley said.

Greenwood said reopening the state would help increase state revenue through taxes. He also said the expansion of programs could be curtailed to make sure the state’s budget doesn’t inflate too much.

Ackley said voters should see his “Independent” party affiliation as a sign that he will not look at issues “through the lens of partisan politics.”

I think I’ve done a good job,” he said. “(I have sponsored bills) to improve the way we treat families of fallen firefighters or … supporting our awareness of invasive plants and preserving lakes or whether it’s something as pragmatic as getting ethanol-free gasoline into gas stations. There’s no ideology in any of those things.”

Greenwood said he is the best person for the job because he brings “proven leadership with proven results.”

“There has to be a bottom line and you have to operate in the black,” he said, noting it’s time to get away from the mentality of always putting things on credit to pay later.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.