Voters will choose Nov. 8 between a veteran of state politics and a political newcomer in Senate District 26, which covers part of Cumberland County.

Democrat Bill Diamond, of Windham, served three terms in the Maine House of Representatives, and then was Maine’s secretary of state from 1989 to 1997. He also has served seven nonconsecutive terms in the Maine Senate. Diamond’s opponent, Ryan McDonald, also a Windham resident, has no previous elected experience but is listed as a member of the town’s land use ordinance committee. A Republican, McDonald praised Diamond’s years of service to the district, but said he sees a need for “more decisive action.”

If elected, McDonald said in a Portland Press Herald survey that he would work in particular to protect property rights “from all levels of government.”

“We need someone who will lead the effort to reassert state’s rights and return the power of self-determination to the people,” he wrote. “I believe that implementing sound economic policy, repealing excessive regulation and reinstituting limits on the power of the government (at every level) is the best way to put us back on track.”

In another term, Diamond said he would focus on building jobs, as well as continuing his work as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse.

“There are so many problems to solve and I have too much energy to sit back and not do all I can to help,” Diamond wrote in his responses to the survey. “Many of my constituents depend on my assistance when dealing with governmental agencies, and my biggest reward is helping them find the answers to their problems.”

The candidates diverge on ballot Question 2, which if passed would raise the state’s minimum wage. Diamond supports that initiative and McDonald opposes it.

On other issues, they came to the same conclusions but expressed different philosophies.

Both candidates oppose Question 3, which seeks to require background checks on all private sales of firearms as well as for most gun “transfers,” such as lending between individuals. Diamond said the referendum has “significant flaws” and he wants to see it rewritten to consider Maine’s hunting culture. McDonald said expanding background checks is “not the answer” to keeping guns away from criminals and others that should not possess a firearm.

Both candidates also said they would vote against Question 1, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use. Diamond said legalizing marijuana would “send the wrong message” in light of the rise in heroin and opiate addiction and drug overdoses. McDonald said people can do what they want in their own homes as long as they don’t endanger or infringe on the rights of others, and the state should “fight for something a little more consequential than the right to get high.”

Both candidates are traditionally financed rather than publicly funded under Maine’s Clean Election Act. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Diamond had raised $9,775 and spent about $300 as of Sept. 20. By the same date, McDonald had raised $760 and spent about $312.

Senate District 26 includes part of Cumberland County – the municipalities of Baldwin, Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, Standish and Windham.