WELLS — Robert Foley and Joachim Howard are each making their maiden run for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives. The two will oppose each other in November in the race to represent the Town of Wells.

Ӣ Foley, 61, is married and has two adult children. He works as an insurance agent at Cole Harrison Agency in Kennebunk.

Foley is currently a member of the Wells Board of Selectmen, where he has served for nine years ”“ eight as chairman. He has also served on the town’s charter, comprehensive plan and harbor advisory committees, and the Maine Beaches Committee and State Board of Environmental Protection.

On the subject of how to create jobs in Maine he said, “I believe we need to target job growth and investment into those areas of the state that are hardest hit economically. ”¦ In order to jumpstart the economies in these areas, I would support creating enterprise zones, where we target investment, and eliminate the personal and business income taxes for a period of time until the economic goals established are met.

“Eventually, this will free up the state aid necessary to support these communities and put them on a path to self-sustainability.”

To fill jobs that lack qualified candidates, Foley said, “We need to expand our high school and technical college programs to teach and train folks in trade-type jobs.”

When taxes are too high, he said it can have negative effect on job growth and cause people to leave the state and spend their money elsewhere.

“Maine has set itself up into a taxation death spiral. I believe a new, fresh approach to the entire taxation system” is needed, he said.

If elected, Foley said beaches and southern coastal towns like Wells, which “drive much of the state’s tourist-related revenues,” will be a top priority for him.

Ӣ Howard, 51, is single. Although the electrician has not run for political office in the past, he said has been a union member for 20 years, and throughout that time, he has been fighting for good wages and benefits for working people.

One way to bring more jobs into Maine, he said, is by “concentrating on natural resources. We need to bring wind and solar businesses into the state of Maine.”

In addition, said Howard, to retain and attract new businesses, the state needs to be “more business friendly.”

“We need to invite businesses into the state to create the jobs we need,” he said. “We need to contact them and show them what we have in terms of land” and incentives.

The lack of skilled workers in Maine is because of the lack of appropriate educational opportunities to train students, said Howard. The education system needs to be addressed to ensure that there is training for skilled labor needs.

Another reason there is a lack of skilled workers, he said, is because “we also have people exiting the state because of the lack of a living wage.”

Establishing a living wage would be one of his priorities, said Howard.

To lower taxes on Mainers, he said, he would like to create a plan to put more of the tax burden on people visiting the state.

“We have an influx of visitors that come into the state,” said Howard. “We should shift some of the taxes onto them, which would give people in Maine some relief.”

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

        Comments are not available on this story.

        filed under: