A Democratic state representative from Biddeford is facing a challenge from an independent candidate known for his criticism of city officials about their handling of sex-abuse allegations involving a former police officer decades ago.

Political newcomer Matt Lauzon, who is not enrolled in any political party, hopes to unseat Rep. Martin Grohman to represent the section of Biddeford that includes the downtown and mill districts. Grohman is finishing his first term as the District 12 representative.

The campaign for the legislative seat has been unusually contentious, with Lauzon using social media to criticize Grohman’s political and business activities and local Democrats questioning whether Lauzon established residency in time to run for office.

Lauzon moved back to Biddeford after going public with allegations that he was sexually abused by a now-retired Biddeford police officer when Lauzon was in high school. Lauzon, whose lawsuits against former officer Stephen Dodd and several city officials are pending in federal court, led a high-profile push for a new investigation into allegations that Dodd sexually assaulted Lauzon and several other men. Dodd was never charged.

Grohman moved to Biddeford in the early 2000s to start a company that manufactures composite decking material.

In the closing weeks of the campaign, Lauzon used his Facebook page to say Grohman should be more proactive about disclosing his involvement with the Betterment Fund, which gives grants to nonprofit organizations across the state. Grohman, who is a fund trustee, says he is proud of his work with the charitable organization and does not hide it, but also is careful to recuse himself from decisions that create a conflict of interest.

Grohman also disputes Lauzon’s assertions that he manufactured a faulty decking product and said he stands by the product, though he no longer owns the company.

Lauzon has also taken to social media to defend himself against accusations that he is not qualified to run for the House seat because he did not move to Maine in time to run for office.

State law requires representatives to be a resident of the Maine for one year and a resident of their district for the three months immediately preceding the election.

Lauzon said he moved back to Biddeford in July 2015, but local residents say he used his Boston address on court documents in early 2016. No one filed an official appeal questioning his residency during an alloted appeal period, so it would be up to the House of Representatives to review Lauzon’s eligibility if he is elected, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Grohman has not spoken publicly about Lauzon’s residency and said he is “focused on issues that matter to voters and being positive.”

Grohman, 48, who calls himself a “jobs Democrat,” was ranked the most bipartisan legislator in the 127th Legislature by the American Conservative Union Foundation. He sits on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee and says he is well positioned to chair that committee if he is re-elected. Grohman, who now works for a roofing company, said he is proud of his bipartisan work at the State House and is eager to return for another term to tackle a variety of issues, including expanding commercial solar power.

“There’s a reason why Wal-Marts in Massachusetts have solar and they don’t in Maine,” he said. “It’s because we don’t have a good mechanism for commercial solar in Maine. I want to change that.”

Grohman counts his experience in Augusta and ability to work across the aisle among his strengths as a legislator. During his first term, he supported a bill that allows low-income Mainers to finance heat pumps through their electric bills and submitted a bill, now passed into law, that allows school resource officers to have jurisdiction at off-site events.

To address the opioid epidemic, Grohman supported legislation that imposed prescription limits and requires all prescriptions to be entered into a database to prevent “doctor shopping.” He also voted to allow pharmacists to dispense Narcan without a prescription and helped push through new funding that is now providing a grant to the Biddeford and Saco police departments to address the heroin problem in the twin cities.

Grohman supports raising the minimum wage, but believes the speed by which the referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot does so will cause problems for some employers. When it comes to legalizing marijuana, Grohman said he believes it would be good if new revenue was directed to education, but worries businesses run by existing medical marijuana providers will be threatened.

Lauzon, a Biddeford native who was a tech entrepreneur in Boston, said he decided to run for office because it seemed like the best way to contribute to the community and make the biggest impact. After speaking with residents of the district, his top priority is addressing the opioid epidemic by investing in treatment programs, giving more authority to district attorneys to “come down harder” on drug traffickers, decreasing the ability of patients to “doctor shop” for opiate prescriptions, and creating a framework that communities can adopt to empower people to come together to reduce the stigma around addiction.

“(This epidemic) is impacting literally every aspect of our state. If we don’t have leadership in Augusta that chooses to prioritize this, I think we’ll see the situation get worse and worse very quickly,” he said.

If elected, Lauzon, 31, said he would like to help attract new businesses to Maine, lead efforts to invest in vocational schools and community colleges, and reduce energy costs. He said he is undecided about his position on the marijuana legalization referendum, supports the minimum wage increase and opposes background checks on privately sold firearms.

Grohman is a publicly funded candidate under Maine’s Clean Election Act, which limits private contributions and provides state matching funds to legislative candidates. He had received $9,250 in Clean Election funding and had roughly $1,400 remaining as of Oct. 28, according to campaign finance reports.

Lauzon is running a privately financed campaign and had reported $7,297 in contributions as of Oct. 28. He had just under $1,900 remaining, according to campaign finance reports.