Incumbent state Rep. Thomas Skolfield, a Republican from Weld, faces a challenge from Peter Bourgelais, a Democrat from Phillips. Courtesy photos

Three-term incumbent Republican Thomas Skolfield faces a challenge from Democrat Peter Bourgelais on the Nov. 3 ballot for Maine House of Representatives District 112.

District 112 serves the towns of Anson, Avon, Carrabassett Valley, Carthage, East Central Franklin, Freeman Township, Kingfield, Madrid Township, New Portland, Perkins Township, Phillips, Salem Township, Sandy River, Starks, Washington Township and Weld.

Skolfield, a 71-year-old Weld resident, is a longtime Maine Department of Conservation employee and a ranking member of the house’s Bills in the Second Reading Committee. He also serves on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry committee as well as the Environment and Natural Resources committee.

Bourgelais, a 33-year-old Phillips resident, is a former human rights nonprofit security officer and current video game designer. He has served on the Phillips Planning Board since 2015 and currently is chairman. Bourgelais also maintains and develops his family’s homestead, growing produce and raising chickens.

Skolfield said he is “a firm believer in maintaining outdoor heritage,” working to conserve natural resources so future generations can see outdoor benefits. He is a supporter of small government under local control and describes himself as a “fiscal conservative” and “strongly believes” in supporting law enforcement agencies.

He is a strong believer in second amendment rights and has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of Maine and Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

A supervisor for the Maine State Department of Conservation for 45 years, specifically for the Bureau of Parks and Lands, Skolfield said he understands how “state government interplays with people’s lives.”

“I just felt it was an easy transition for me, being a state employee under the executive branch (to) running as a candidate in the legislative branch,” Skolfield said. “I’m a seventh-generation Mainer, and I understand what people are going through in my neck of the woods. I’m a man of the people, and I work hard for them based on that.”

Before moving to Maine, Bourgelais was the first American to intern at the Civil Initiative on Internet Policy in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.

Bourgelais later worked as a circumvention and network interference technologist at Access Now, an international human rights nonprofit in New York City.

He also worked as the chief security officer at neweurasia.net before becoming a game developer in 2017. Since 2019, he’s worked as a 3D Environment Artist and Programmer at Peace Island LLC, a Portland company making a non-violent adventure videogame based on a fictionalized Peaks Island.

Bourgelais hopes to simplify the Maine state income tax process, make the property tax fairness credit more accessible to seniors, increase municipal reimbursement of revenue and the overall amount for the Homestead Exemption Act.

Bourgelais is also interested in “preserving the gains” in health care and education funding in state government. He looks to make the electrical grid consumer-owned and opposes the CMP Corridor. He also intends to address climate change, seek to restrict synthetic pesticides in food and increase rural broadband access.

“When I went on a tour of tax-acquired properties with Ray Gaudette, a member of our Board of Selectmen, he said something to me that I will never forget: ‘This town is dying,'” Bourgelais wrote in email.

“Most of rural Maine has been dying for decades, and it will continue to die, or worse, if we keep electing the same politicians who push the same regressive policies that do nothing but enrich wealthy elites on the coast while the hard-working people of towns like Anson, Kingfield and Phillips are left to fend for themselves.”


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