BUXTON — Next month’s primary election will choose one of two Republican candidates to run for the Maine House District 16 seat
in November.

Veteran politician Stavros Mendros and youthful SAD 6 board member Nathan Carlow will square off in the Republican primary.

House District 16 represents Hollis and parts of Buxton and Saco. Buxton voters will cast ballots July 14 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Buxton Town Hall, 185 Portland Road.

The Republican winner will face Democrat David Durrell of Hollis in November. The current House District 16 representative, Donald Marean of Hollis, an independent, has termed out.

Carlow

Carlow cited dealing with the financial damage from the coronavirus pandemic and taxes as major issues.

In the long term, the economy will be a top issue in the Legislature, Carlow said.

“We’re on the verge of the toughest budget year in recent memory, and the governor’s wasteful spending in the early months of her term is proving to have long-term economic challenges for our state,” he said. “As a legislator, I would wholeheartedly support lowering taxes so that the Maine people are able to recoup from the losses we’ve faced due to the financial shortfall caused by the administration’s response to the coronavirus.”

Many businesses are facing hardships, particularly nursing homes and assisted living facilities, he said. Long-term care centers like Countryside Adult Family Care in Buxton, he said, are experiencing a variety of challenges that threaten their operations.

“Issues like the rising cost of labor and the shortage of qualified workers pose a serious risk to the conditions of these facilities,” Carlow said. “I’ll be an ally for seniors in Augusta.”

There aren’t enough people to fill critical jobs and “I’m very concerned about state of our workforce,” he said.

Carlow would support efforts to increase state subsidies to benefit these facilities and their residents.

“In addition to this, I support ongoing initiatives that benefit the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System while they shore up their respective nursing programs,” he said.

He feels his experience on the SAD 6 board and committees will prove valuable.

“You have to know what’s best for the community,” Carlow said.

Mendros

Mendros said the top issues for the Legislature are dealing with the impact of the pandemic shutdowns on the economy and taxes.

“We have to focus on the aftermath,” he said.

The coronavirus poses the highest risk for the elderly, Mendros said, and they haven’t been protected.

“We’re not focusing on protecting the vulnerable,” he said.

Nursing homes are understaffed and their employees are overworked and also improperly protected from the coronavirus.

“The Legislature refused to fund (nursing homes) properly even before the pandemic. Then, the governor looked the other way,” Mendros said.

The whole unemployment situation as a result of the pandemic is a “mess,” he said. Animosity has risen because some unemployed people are receiving more money than those who work, he said.

“The economy is going to be a prime issue,” he said. “I think we need to open our businesses.”

Mendros pointed out much of the economy in southern Maine is based on tourism, but people are scared to come to Maine, he said. Small businesses benefit from tourism and small businesses are going “belly up,” he said.

Gov. Janet Mills continues to “abuse her emergency powers” with pandemic guidelines that he says punishes small businesses and the tourism economy.

The next Legislature, Mendros said, will have to deal with the economy. Legislators will decide whether to raise taxes or find ways to make budget cuts.

“Maine cannot afford to raise taxes. We need to prioritize spending,” he said.

“We have seen during the pandemic that much of state government is unnecessary and could be cut or at least done far less expensively from home,” Mendros said.

Comments are not available on this story.