BRUNSWICK — Two aspiring newcomers to the Maine Senate are facing off to replace Majority Leader Garrett Mason, representing Maine Senate District 22.

Lois Kilby-Chesley, a Democrat and former president of the Maine Education Association is up against Rep. Jeff Timberlake, a Republican serving House District 75 whose term as a representative is set to expire.

District 22 includes Durham, Lisbon, Sabattus, Litchfield, Leeds, Wales, Greene, Leeds, Wayne and Turner.

Kilby-Chesley is most passionate about education, having spent nearly 40 years as a teacher and now working for the MEA. She said health care needs to be a high priority, along with Maine’s schools.

The district’s lines were redrawn in 2014 as they are every 10 years, causing the traditionally blue rural district to lean more toward red with the addition of Wales and Wayne and the loss of New Gloucester and Livermore.

“We have to represent the people who elected us,” she said. “We’re not there for our personal agenda and I think a lot of people get to Augusta and forget that. You can’t discard what more than 50 percent of your district voted for.”

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Kilby-Chesley said her ability to compromise and experience in the state house on the other side of the curtain will give her a leg up. “I’m not going in blind,” she said.

Timberlake did not respond to repeated calls and emails requesting an interview.

Timberlake is a Turner resident and local farmer, which he said on his Facebook page taught him “how to work hard, be team players and make tough decisions.” He has been in state government for eight years.

“The decision to leave my beautiful farm to sit inside of the State House hasn’t always been easy, but I’m happy with what has been accomplished during my time in Augusta,” he wrote. However, there is still work to do, he said in a post,  adding, “Healthcare costs are too big of a worry for Mainers, we can get taxes lower and we must do more to fight the opioid epidemic.”

His past two elections, in particular, were clear runaways, taking in 68 and 62 percent of the vote.

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