Three candidates are seeking the District 44 seat in the Maine House of Representatives this November, with two political newcomers challenging the two-term incumbent.

Voters in the district, which includes most of Falmouth, will have a choice between Democratic incumbent Teresa Pierce, Republican Sarah Sandlin and Green Independent Kate Schrock.

Pierce, 55, has served two terms in the Legislature. She said she wants to focus on issues such as improving education, lowering property taxes, investing in infrastructure and tackling the opioid crisis through investment on treatment options.

Under Gov. Paul LePage, she said, there’s been a shift in costs to local communities and property taxpayers, particularly for education, which she would like to see reversed.

Pierce supports the expansion of Medicaid to 70,000 more Mainers. LePage has successfully resisted implementing the program, even though it was passed by voters in a statewide referendum last fall and ordered by the courts.

“The people have spoken and Medicaid expansion should be implemented,” she said.

Pierce is a publicly funded candidate under the Maine Clean Election Act and has raised $9,125, according to the Maine Ethics Commission campaign finance website.

Sandlin describes herself as having a centrist philosophy and says, at 23, she would bring a young person’s perspective to the Legislature.

“Maine really needs innovation. There’s many exciting opportunities, but we really need to be progressive. As a millennial, I have fresh ideas,” she said.

She said she is interested in retaining and attracting young people to Maine, the need for more workforce housing, the expansion of broadband internet and environmental protection and land conservation.

Medicaid expansion should move forward because the people have spoken, Sandlin said.

She said she is committed to bipartisanship. “I truly have an open mind and I believe in compromise.”

Sandlin is a publicly funded candidate under the Maine Clean Election Act and has raised $6,524, according to the Maine Ethics Commission.

Schrock, 53, said she became politically active after supporting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Schrock said she believes in the Green Independent party’s focus on the environment, social justice, gender equality and grassroots democracy, among other issues. She said she’s most interested in addressing income inequality and the access, affordability and quality of both education and health care.

She’s a big proponent of the universal home care referendum and is canvasing in support of that measure as she’s campaigning for her own election.

Schrock also supports Medicaid expansion and said she would go even further, adopting universal health care.

Schrock is a traditionally funded candidate and has raised $1,468, according to the Maine Ethics Commission.

Kate Irish Collins can be contacted at 710-2336 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KIrishCollins

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