Rep. Eleanor Espling, R-New Gloucester, is seeking re-election against political newcomer Elijah Breton, a Democrat from Poland.

The candidates are competing for the seat in House District 65, which covers New Gloucester and part of Poland.

Espling, 43, has served three terms as a state representative and is an assistant leader for House Republicans. She is self-employed and has taught classes about money management and budgeting, according to her Facebook page.

“My desire in running for office is, not to be an advocate for one issue, but to be an advocate for the issues important to the folks I represent,” she said in responses to a Portland Press Herald survey.

Espling said she will vote against ballot proposals to expand background checks for gun purchases and raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. While she supports medical marijuana, Espling said, she opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the midst of the state’s drug crisis.

Breton, 22, is a recent graduate of Ithaca College and has never held political office.

“I am running for office because we need younger, fresher perspectives in Augusta,” he said in his survey responses. “I am running because the status quo needs to go.”

He also opposes three proposals on the Nov. 8 ballot – background checks for gun purchases, raising the minimum wage and legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

On Question 1, he said he isn’t against the legalization of marijuana, but he is concerned about how regulated recreational use would be under the proposed statute.

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