Republican State Sen. David Woodsome of Waterboro is being challenged by Sanford City Councilor and former Democratic Rep. John Tuttle for the seat representing Senate District 33, which includes the towns of Cornish, Limerick, Newfield, Parsonsfield, Shapleigh and Waterboro, and the city of Sanford.

John Tuttle

It is the second match-up for the pair. The first was in 2014, when Woodsome emerged the victor in his first run for state office.

Woodsome, a retired school teacher and former Waterboro selectman, is seeking his third term in the Maine Senate, where he chairs the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

Woodsome was one of three Senate Republicans who voted in favor of Medicaid expansion in 2016, although efforts to enroll more Mainers have been blocked by Gov. Paul LePage. He said he believes “it is an important factor in ensuring folks are insured and getting adequate preventative care to help contain costs.” Woodsome said Maine should explore community nursing and ways to keep seniors in their homes and independent.

David Woodsome

“I believe trade and technology education is central to building a skilled workforce, which we need to attract new businesses, entrepreneurs and jobs to Maine,” Woodsome continued. “I have pushed for vocational-technical classes in all schools, not just the regional voc-tech centers. This concept was supported half-heartedly in the Legislature this session, resulting in a watered-down bill. However, I will continue to push for comprehensive voc-tech and life-skills classes in every school in Maine.”

“I call on the next administration to establish a conference of local, state and national leaders to create an ongoing action plan with regards to economics, business, industry and education,” Woodsome said. “And, as with generations before, immigrants have an important role to play and bring to Maine a diversity of skills and experiences from which we can benefit.”

Tuttle is a retired emergency medical technician who served 28 years in the Maine Legislature, chairing Labor, Veterans and Legal Affairs and Marine Resources committees.

Tuttle said Maine should expand the Medicaid program as approved by voters. “Without the Medicaid expansion, Maine hospitals will suffer greatly, especially in rural areas. The expansion will also help keep stability for workers in the health care industry. Maine is facing a shortage now of nurses, we need to fill those jobs,” he said.

“Having been a Sanford city councilor for the last few years, I have worked to promote high-speed internet for the municipality of Sanford in hopes of attracting new industries to the area,” said Tuttle, pointing out that approach could be expanded to all of Senate District 33. “Sanford is in the process of building one of the largest solar arrays in the country which will create millions of dollars in new revenue and 200-plus new jobs.”

“We need to increase our efforts to assist the family farm so that young people can come back and continue farming as their families have done for generations,” Tuttle said. “At one time, Maine was the bread basket of the country, I feel that we can become that again with proper leadership.”

Woodsome is a traditionally financed candidate and has raised $11,765, according to the latest report posted by the Maine Ethics Commission.

Tuttle is a publicly financed candidate under the Maine Clean Elections Act and has raised $28,660, according to the ethics commission.

Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or at:

[email protected]