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SANFORD — Democrat incumbent Anne-Marie Mastraccio is seeking her second term and will see a challenge from Republican Gordon Frohloff in the race to represent newly created House District 18, part of Sanford, in the Maine Legislature Nov. 4.

Ӣ Frohloff, 51, works in education technology for a firm that designs systems to help children read better or improve their other communications. He is married and has three daughters: one in college, another who attends a Portland charter school and an 11-year-old.

A Sanford resident for 11 years, Frohloff, who used to live in New Hampshire, mounted a campaign for the Legislature there in 1998, and later for the Manchester, New Hampshire school board. Both attempts were unsuccessful; Frohloff said he got involved in those races because he felt that candidates should not run unopposed.

To bolster the economy, Frohloff would seek to lower taxes for individuals and corporations so more people would invest in Maine and stay here. Acknowledging that the workforce is graying and some manufacturers are experiencing a dearth of skilled jobs going unfilled, he said he would focus education on project-based learning to train a skilled workforce.

“We’re not training enough kids in school the way we need to,” he said. A strong proponent of charter schools, Frohloff said he’d like to see more of them.

As to taxation, “a flat tax makes a lot of sense,” Frohloff said.

Frohloff said he sees a lot of waste, and that the governor is trying to do the best he can. He said people who need help aren’t getting it. He harked to his family history when he said his father had emigrated here from Germany 60 years ago, and had to be sponsored, learn the language and keep a job to stay.

”¢ Mastraccio, 63, who is retired from working with her husband in his optometry practice, has two children and two grandchildren. She served on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future.

Mastraccio said the Legislature, last session, expanded apprenticeships and put more money into programs that help first-generation college students as well as those whose education has been interrupted. As well, the Legislature approved a $50 million bond that voters will decide Nov. 4. If approved, she said that will result in investments in small businesses and entrepreneurs, through loan guarantee programs and incentives for companies performing groundbreaking work in biomedical research and the marine economy.

Mastraccio said she believes the burden on property taxpayers is unsustainable, and, at a minimum, Maine needs to return municipal revenue sharing levels dictated by state law, and look at increasing and fully funding the Homestead Tax Exemption. She supports increasing the lodging tax, broadening and lowering the sales tax, exploring a county- or local-option sales tax and lowering income taxes for middle-income taxpayers.

She said she’ll co-sponsor the KeepMe Home initiative proposed by Speaker of the House Mark Eves.

“Our parents and grandparents deserve a secure retirement in a safe home with the help they need to remain there as long as possible,” Mastraccio said.

— 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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