Former Lincoln County Republican Committee Chair Gordon Colby, of Waldoboro, has registered as a candidate to challenge Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, in the Maine Senate District 13 primary.
The primary will take place in June 2018. The district includes all of Lincoln County except Dresden, plus Washington and Windsor.
Colby said he has never run for public office before, but current events prompted him to do so. “The country seems to be in a mess right now and I think I can help change it,” he said.
Colby works in Union as a field manager for an Ellsworth-based blueberry company.
He resigned from his position as chair of the county GOP in July. He had been elected to the position six months earlier, in January.
Dick Mayer, of Damariscotta, vice chair at the time of Colby’s resignation, has taken over the chairmanship.
Dow said he intends to seek re-election, but that his next term would be his last before retirement.
“I don’t believe in being a career politician,” Dow said. “When I ran again in 2016, I intended to run for two terms, because by the finish of the second term I’ll be 69.”
Dow served two terms in the Senate from 2004-2008 and one in the House from 2010-2012. He returned to the Senate by defeating three-term incumbent Sen. Chris Johnson, D-Somerville, in November 2016.
Dow cited his track record as a legislator as an example of what he offers the district’s voters.
“I’m for good, common-sense legislation. I’m one of the peacemakers up there who helps keep the ship on an even keel,” Dow said.
He is the Senate chair of the Taxation Committee and also sits on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee.
Reflecting on the recent legislative session, Dow said he is proud of his work to stabilize the economy and avoid implementation of a 2016 ballot measure establishing a 3 percent surtax on income above $200,000.
“I’m convinced it would have done irreparable harm to the state. A lot of high-level doctors, surgeons, and business owners would not be interested in coming here,” Dow said.
Dow is a co-owner and president of Dow Furniture in Waldoboro.
On the Democratic side of the field, Johnson, who now chairs the Lincoln County Democratic Committee, said party officials are speaking with potential candidates for Senate.
“We’re expecting to have definitely one candidate and possibly more than that,” Johnson said.
Johnson said it is too soon to say if he will run again.