Rep. Teresa Pierce is running for reelection in District 44, which covers most of Falmouth, against political newcomer Kim Diamond.

The two candidates differ on their goals at the State House and positions on the state’s referendum questions.

Diamond, 52, has never run for elected office, but worked on campaigns for Sens. William Cohen and Susan Collins. She manages her husband’s dentistry practice and is a former federal court clerk.

Demographic change in the state is a critical issue, Diamond said. Maine youth need more training and education so they can find jobs in the state instead of leaving, she said.

“Within a decade one-in-four Mainers will be over age 65; we are not replacing the workforces quickly enough,” Diamond said.

The state’s aging population needs help to stay in their homes, she said. To encourage business, the Legislature should simplify state regulations and eliminate duplicative rules, Diamond said. She encourages welfare reform and wants to eliminate fraud so taxpayers do not support able-bodied adults.

Diamond wants to lower the income tax but is not sure it should be eliminated, a policy goal of Gov. Paul LePage. She is opposed to referendums to require background checks for private gun sales, raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and legalize recreational marijuana, although she is not opposed to using marijuana recreationally. Diamond said the state is doing an admirable job of addressing the complex issue of the current opiate addiction crisis.

Pierce, 53, a former Falmouth Town Council chairwoman and nonprofit fundraiser, was elected in 2014 and sat on the Legislature’s education and cultural affairs committee. If reelected, Pierce said she wants to continue implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The act affects student and teacher evaluations and other measures that are invaluable for Maine, Pierce said.

She also wants to reduce property taxes by maintaining state revenue sharing and education funding for local governments and bring some more to local communities, Pierce said. She is in favor of lower income tax levels on all earners, but against eliminating it entirely. She is for expanded background checks on gun sales, raising the minimum wage, and approves of legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana.

Maine’s opiate crisis is one of Pierce’s key concerns. She was a co-sponsor of legislation to set up a law enforcement assisted diversion, or LEAD, pilot program in Maine. Although the bill failed, a pilot program has been created for state law enforcement, Pierce said.

“This opiate crisis faces every community, and if we don’t start turning the tide, it is going to be a serious issue for the next generation,” Pierce said.

Diamond is a traditionally-financed candidate who has raised $5,000 through Oct. 25, according to her most recent campaign finance report.

Pierce is publicly funded under the Maine Clean Election Act and had raised a total of $9,000 in seed money contributions and state funds through Sept. 20, according to her latest finance report.