SANFORD — Rep. Andrea Boland has thrown her hat into the ring, challenging incumbent Sen. John Tuttle in the June 10 Democratic primary for the newly configured Senate District 33.

Boland is in her final term as a state representative, as four consecutive terms is the maximum under term limits. She said she has no quarrel with Tuttle, but as well as focusing on local issues, she said she tends to examine and look for action on matters that others don’t.

One example is a cellphone warning label, which she has sought for years. Another is a focus on electromagnetic pulses and solar storms that could impact the electric grid. Boland was successful in getting a bill passed last year that directs the Public Utilities Commission to examine measures to mitigate the effects of geomagnetic disturbances and electromagnetic pulses on the state’s transmission system.

“I have things I feel strongly about that no one else touches,” said Boland, in a telephone interview Tuesday.

She said she focuses on local issues, too, such as health care, and spoke of legislation she introduced that would require physicians to provide a written estimate of the cost of medical procedures ahead of time, along with other initiatives.

Boland, who works as a title examiner, serves on the State and Local Government Committee and the Government Oversight Committee. She currently represents House District 142, which is part of Sanford.

Boland said Augusta is increasingly a place of special interests.

“We need strong voices, and I’m one of them,” she said.

Tuttle, an emergency medical technician, has been a legislator for many years, serving in the House and Senate prior to the adoption of term limits. He took a brief break some years ago after being termed out, but returned to office and is seeking re-election.

He estimates this will mark his first primary in about 30 years.

“It’s a free country,” said Tuttle of Boland’s entry into the primary. “Andrea is a friend of mine. We’ve worked together over the years.”

Tuttle is a door-to-door campaigner, and said he recently spent time knocking on doors in Cornish and Parsonsfield, two of the communities in the newly configured Senate District 33 that also includes Newfield, Limerick, Shapleigh, Waterboro and Sanford. He is senate chair of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and serves on the Judiciary Committee.

One of his most recent initiatives focuses on Agent Orange. Tuttle’s resolve unanimously passed the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, and if approved by the full Legislature, is designed to recognize the environmental hazards present at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, where the Maine National Guard trained for a number of years, and the resulting potential health risks. He recently conducted a forum about the session in Waterboro and, along with Boland and Reps. Anne-Marie Mastraccio and Bill Noon, is scheduled to do so in Sanford Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at City Hall.

A primary with him and Boland gives people a good choice, said Tuttle. He pointed out the district is very independent, and that his election to Senate District 3, which he currently represents, was the first time a Democrat had been elected in many years. The district includes, among others, Sanford and Waterboro ”“ two of the communities in the new Senate 33 district.

He said he hopes a primary will not divide Democrats.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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