Creating jobs and lifting restrictions on small businesses are among the top concerns for the candidates in the Republican primary in state House District 103.

Dana DesJardins, a self-employed electrical contractor, said he would get rid of the business equipment tax. He says the tax discourages small business owners from expanding.

“We have to find a way to keep businesses in Maine,” DesJardins said. “The state has not been friendly to businesses. The only way we’re going to succeed is to give businesses tax breaks.”

His opponent, Michael McClellan, has similar concerns. As a former executive director of the Greater Bridgton Chamber of Commerce, McClellan said there are too many regulations and not enough incentives for small business owners.

“They should feel supported by the state,” he said. “I don’t feel that is always the case.”

McClellan says the key to creating more jobs in Maine is in the tourism industry.

“We have so many assets in this state and I don’t think we do a good job of telling people,” he said.

The seat is being vacated by John Robinson, who decided not to run for re-election. The district covers Frye Island, Raymond and parts of Poland and Standish.

DesJardins moved to Raymond in 1990 and has served on the Board of Selectmen for the past eight years.

He is concerned about a lack of funding for public safety services.

For example, DesJardins said, state police lack adequate funding for their crime lab to prosecute child predators.

“The money is not being distributed to the state police crime labs to catch these people,” DesJardins said. “It’s hard for state police to do their job when they don’t have the money to do it.”

McClellan is a consultant for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. He served six years on Raymond’s school board, including one year as chair, and served three years on the town’s Board of Selectmen.

McClellan said he decided to run for the Legislature to help bring positive change in his community and at the state level.

“We have a lot of people that need jobs and a lot of roads that need work,” McClellan said. “There are plenty of things to do. We just need common sense.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]