March 13, 2010

Economy prompts newcomer's bid

BETH QUIMBY

— By

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Jordan Landry house 144.

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Staff Writer

A young Democratic newcomer is going up against the Republican incumbent for House District 144, which includes parts of Sanford and Lebanon and Acton.

Democrat Jordan Landry, 24, of Sanford, who helps run his family's Sanford furniture business, is competing against Joan Nass, 65, of Acton, a retired educator and two-term state representative whose husband, Richard Nass, holds the Senate District 2 seat.

Landry said he decided to run for the Legislature in the Nov. 4 election because of the economy. He said Mainers are feeling the pinch from rising gas, food and health care prices.

''And then I look at what my opponent has done and it is totally out of touch with these problems,'' Landry said.

Nass said she seeking a new term to work toward lowering the high tax burden in Maine, help resolve the home-heating crisis and to have a voice in setting public policy.

''I am running to use the experience I have gained to help constituents negotiate successfully with the state government,'' Nass said.

Both candidates say they oppose school district consolidation, at least for Acton, which has not been able to find a district to merge with in order to comply with the state law and so faces the possible loss of its state aid.

Nass said the school district consolidation law is about money and not about students. She said while it makes sense for school districts to consolidate food and supply services, the current law tries to do too much too fast. She said the penalties for towns like Acton that cannot find merger partners are unfair.

Landry said that the only reason he is against school consolidation is that Acton stands to be penalized after making a concerted effort to find a merger partner. He said saving money by consolidating school district administrative functions is a good idea and if elected he will work to find a legislative solution that doesn't penalize Acton.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

bquimby@pressherald.com

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