BIDDEFORD — Incumbent Democrat David Dutremble of Biddeford said he hopes to continue serving in the state Senate. In November, he will be up against challenger Republican James “Jim” Booth of Arundel.

The two are opponents are running in state Senate District 32, which includes Alfred, Arundel, Biddeford, Dayton, Kennebunkport and Lyman.

Ӣ Booth, 50, a small business owner who has two daughters, also gave his opinions about business, taxes and other issues high on his agenda.

His political experience includes two years on Saco City Council and working on political campaigns.

In order to improve the business climate, he said in an email, the high cost of energy must be addressed.

“Maine has one of the highest energy costs in the nation,” he said. “With all the other expenses in Maine what companies would locate in Maine? We have to elect people that really know about subjects concerning business, so we can turn around Maine. Maine always had a reputation as having hard-working people. The combination of bad politicians, no jobs, and the mentality of some not to work is a very bad combination.”

Booth’s list of things to do to improve the state’s economy includes: “First, elect people that know business issues; second, have a clear energy policy; third, change the income and payroll tax; and fourth, be very aggressive in recruiting new businesses to come to Maine.”

Booth said he would like to do away with the payroll tax for hourly workers.

“This would allow people to have more money during the year to spend on gas and food and other weekly costs,” he said. “This also would give the business owner a little relief from the burden of paper work. It seems to me that New Hampshire can run with no sales tax or income tax why can’t we?”

State revenue sharing, he said, “should be at 55 percent. … If that means making budget cuts in Augusta, so be it.”

If elected, Booth said he would like to eliminate voting rights for prison inmates.

In addition, he said he’s interested in looking further into the issues of the Common Core school curriculum, school choice and reducing some state departments.

Ӣ Dutremble, 47, is vying for a second term in the Senate. He was first elected in 2012.

The firefighter, who is a lieutenant with the Biddeford Fire Department, where he has worked for 26 years, is married and has five children.

In order to create investment in the state, Dutremble wrote in an emailed response to questions that “Businesses need to have access to funds, we need to lower the restrictions on businesses and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”

To attract skilled workers, he said, “Qualified candidates for existing jobs need to come from co-ops; let’s train our youth for jobs we currently have and give them education credits while they are doing it. College is great, but it’s not for everyone; we need a better trained workforce.”

Retaining state revenue sharing with municipalities is an area Dutremble feels strongly about.

“Our towns and cities cannot afford to lose any more revenue sharing, and I would like to see revenue sharing brought back to the level it was before it was cut,” he said. “We need to look at new ways to stabilize our tax structure or cut spending.”

Helping seniors is high on his agenda.

“Too many of our seniors are struggling on a daily basis,” said Dutremble. “We need to find ways to keep our seniors in their homes and not force them out with rising taxes. They’ve worked their whole lives; now let’s find a way to take care of them.”

In addition, he said, “Family court reform will continue to be an avenue I will pursue, too many families are being torn apart by the justice system we currently have. Seventy-four percent of people represent themselves, but the courts don’t adjust or account for that pro-se representation.”

— Staff Writer Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324 or [email protected]

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