Small business owners Katrina Smith and Jennifer Tuminaro are seeking the Republican nomination for the newly configured House District 62 in the June 14 primary.

House District 62, which was formed following the 2020 redistricting conducted by the Maine Legislature, includes China, Hibberts Gore, Palermo, Somerville and Windsor.

Smith, 48, of Palermo is a Realtor and runs a company with her husband in which they flip houses. She is former chair of Waldo County Republicans, served on the GOP state committee and was a founder of the Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus. Smith ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2020.

Tuminaro, 44, of China is a finance manager and does the financial books for her husband and their companies, BlackRock Investigations & Consulting and Maine Upland Guide Service. She home-schooled her children and is a former member of the China Parent Teacher Association, a former school volunteer and the current coach for China Recreation soccer.

Tuminaro said she became concerned about the direction in which the state and communities are going and realized the only way to effect change is to get involved. She thinks the state should move toward more conservative values.

“I’m just stepping in now to see how I can help turn the tide,” she said. “There are a lot of us out there running for the first time to try to make a difference that way.”


Smith said she is running for the nomination because, “I feel we need more bold, conservative voices in the mix who really question where the state is headed and really work hard to put the state in a good position going forward for our children.”

Katrina Smith Photo courtesy of Katrina Smith

If elected, Smith said she would work to help ensure people have important freedoms.

“Definitely, restoring freedom to Maine, to bring back individual choice for people, businesses and personal lives,” she said.

She was referring to nurses, doctors and other health care workers who were fired by employers because they were not vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I think they definitely should, at this point in time, where the pandemic is, hire them back,” Smith said.

Tuminaro said she is concerned about the family structure, which need be strengthened. The culture has moved away from a focus on parental authority and, instead, teachers are acting as substitute parents, according to Tuminaro.


Jennifer Tuminaro Photo courtesy of Jennifer Tuminaro

“I’ve met with teachers and the local superintendent, and I’d like to see how we can shift the focus of the classroom from what it is now,” Tuminaro said. “Teachers are tied down with so many restrictions. We’ve actually gotten away from the core reason for schools, which is supposed to be to educate our children.”

Smith said she wants to see health restrictions lifted on businesses. They were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, instead of being able to determine how they conduct their operations, she said. Meanwhile, students seeking to enroll in colleges have lost their freedom of choice, because some schools will not accept students who are unvaccinated, she said.

“Right now, my children can’t attend college in Maine if they’re not vaccinated,” she said.

Schools need to look at age-appropriate education, Smith said, and make sure what is taught is what people and parents want.

“Some curriculums bring social aspects of gender and equity and inclusion into subjects,” she said. “It doesn’t have a place in education, especially in elementary schools.”

Schools should be held accountable for what they teach, Smith said, and focus more on education instead of, for instance, “bringing other systems of life into a math program.”


“Equity shouldn’t be part of math — I think math should be part of math,” she said. “I just think it’s distracting and our kids are getting left behind in some of the subjects.”

Like Smith, Tuminaro says she does not mind having discussion about social issues, but they should not be the focus of discussion in classrooms.

“Children need to go to school to learn, to be creative, to think, not to be told, ‘Here’s what we want you to think,'” Tuminaro said.

She said she wants to work to ensure financial literacy is taught to students at a younger level. She also wants to help clear hurdles for people wanting to start a small business, and make sure they are aware of agencies that can help them.

“Small businesses are what really drive the economy,” Tuminaro said. “We faced hurdles in starting our businesses. It was kind of a pain, and I can understand why many people just kind of give up on it because of what they see as obstacles.”

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