Republican Bowdoinham Selectman Peter “Tony” Lewis is running for Maine House District 55, according to a news release.

House District 55 consists of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, most of Richmond and Perkins Island Township.

The release states Lewis will “support targeted broadband expansion, property tax reform and home rule if elected.”

“I got into politics because I saw a need for broadband in our community,” Lewis stated in the release. “Being a selectman seemed like a good way to do that, so I put my name forward, rolled my sleeves up, and have been working hard for our area ever since. It’s been a great experience, one I will draw from when I make it to Augusta.

“It’s not about streaming services like Netflix or YouTube TV, it’s about being able to work, or run your business from home. It’s about attracting and keeping working families here, keeping our schools and civic groups alive, and our small businesses competitive. I’ve proven I can do that working with the state to get resources for our region, and will continue to do that at the State House.”

Lewis also wants to work on property tax reform.

“Property tax relief cuts across party lines,” he said. “This Legislature compromised to return more of our sales tax revenue back to small towns like ours that helps offset property taxes, and they voted to increase the homestead exemption so that homeowners are paying less on their property. But I think we can, and must, do more to allow people who have worked hard for what they have to be able to keep it. That has to be our top priority, making sure the Mills Administration and the Legislature, continue to provide more property tax relief.”

Lewis said that as chairman of Bowdoinham’s select-board he is frustrated by how much say Augusta has over local government and will push for more local control.

“I think their intentions are good for the most part, but too many times legislators pass things that cost towns – and the people that live there – money. We get a flyer every week from Maine Municipal Association as select-people, and there are bills in every committee that drive up the cost of local government. We need to take a real hard look at that, and remember that Maine, 200 years young, was founded on the principle of home rule, local control, that the people that make up each of our towns know what they want their government to be and do. That’s how I am going to approach every bill that comes to me, and I think whether it passes or not, small towns need proven, experienced voices in Augusta.”

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