A political newcomer with 30 years of military experience is looking to unseat the state Senate incumbent representing Biddeford and several surrounding towns.

Democratic state Sen. Susan Deschambault of Biddeford hopes to fend off a challenge from Republican Scott Normandeau of Arundel. District 32 includes Alfred, Arundel, Biddeford, Dayton, Kennebunkport and Lyman.

Deschambault, 70, was first elected to the Legislature in 2016 to serve out the remainder of the term of David Dutremble, who had stepped down for personal reasons. She was elected to serve a two-year term later in 2016.

Deschambault, a retired social worker for the Department of Corrections and former Biddeford city councilor, said she has spent more than two years in Augusta making connections with people across the state and learning how to address issues that directly affect her district and York County.

“I know that I go beyond party politics,” she said. “I’m not flashy at all. You have a job to do and you do it.”

Deschambault, who previously served on the Maine Criminal Justice Commission, spent much of her last term working on a bipartisan panel to implement the state’s recreational marijuana law. She said she would like to return to Augusta to tackle other issues, including providing more access to health care and help aging Mainers stay in their homes. She also supports efforts to improve the economy by investing in centers of technology to train students for good-paying trade jobs that are already available.

If re-elected, Deschambault said, she plans to submit legislation to address issues brought to her by constituents, including the availability of defibrillators in retail stores, and requiring police officers to wear body cameras.

Normandeau, 55, is retired from the Air Force and is a small-business owner with expertise in cybersecurity. He said he is running because he wants to work with other lawmakers to bring technology jobs to the state and keep young people from moving away to find work, which his own sons had to do.

“The information economy can provide those good-paying jobs,” he said. “We’re already a place people want to be. We just need to make a few adjustments.”

Normandeau is a combat veteran who describes himself as a conservative and visionary. During his time in Afghanistan, he worked on implementing technical innovation programs. As a small-business owner, he said, he understands how important it is to reduce government regulations, limit taxes and implement business-friendly policies to help grow the economy.

Normandeau said he would work with legislators from both parties to build consensus around ideas that benefit the state and his district. He would also focus on the unique needs of each town in the district, which range from the sixth-largest city in the state to small towns with a minimal commercial tax base.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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Twitter: @grahamgillian

Correction: This story was updated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 to correct Deschambault’s service on the Maine Criminal Justice Commission.