A Waldoboro resident has formally declared her intentions to run for the House District 91 seat in the state Legislature.
Dr. Emily Trask-Eaton, of Waldoboro, registered for the upcoming election on Feb. 24.
The district for which she is seeking election includes Waldoboro in Lincoln County, as well as Friendship, part of Union, and Washington in Knox County.
Trask-Eaton, a Waldoboro resident for roughly four decades, said she has had interest in serving in public office before and ran twice in the 1980s to represent her community in Augusta.
“I know what I have to do to win,” Trask-Eaton said.
She said the fact that the seat’s current incumbent, Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, is not running for re-election helped sway her to enter this year’s race.
Trask-Eaton said her retirement – though she still works as needed – from medical practice at LincolnHealth’s Waldoboro Family Medicine in fall 2015 has given her the time to take on the upcoming campaign.
“This is my home, and why wouldn’t I run? I want this place to be the best it can be,” Trask-Eaton said.
She cited the spirit of community that exists throughout the district as another factor motivating her candidacy.
“We have communities that still function as communities,” Trask-Eaton said.
She said important political issues to her are health care, taxes, and job creation.
Trask-Eaton said as a physician she has firsthand experience understanding how health care works and doesn’t work in addition to experience with the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare.
“There are still people without adequate health care or none at all,” Trask-Eaton said.
Trask-Eaton said she opposes increases to the state’s sales tax because she believes it penalizes year-round residents in the area.
In addition to spending the past 10 years as a doctor at Waldoboro Family Medicine, Trask-Eaton was the owner of the town’s 5 & 10 for 20 years and the craft store House on the Hill.
She said her experiences with those two businesses instilled in her the importance of small business to rural communities.
“I think job creation is key. I’m not about giving big business or big-box stores a tax break. I think we should put our money in small, local businesses that will be here for the duration,” Trask-Eaton said.
Trask-Eaton said the area offers a pace of life and natural setting that can serve to attract residents if jobs are present.
“People will come here and bring their businesses and expertise with them if there is a job for them,” Trask-Eaton said.
The retired physician said she grew up in Bass Harbor and understands the importance of lobstering, clamming, worm harvesting, and fishing to Waldoboro.
She said conflicts can come up between different portions of the commercial fishing industry.
“I think the best way to resolve some of these issues is to sit down and talk, not have someone in Augusta tell them what they need to do,” she said.
In addition to fishing, she said she is adamant about the impact of farming opportunities for residents of the region.
“I think it’s really important to have sustainable farms and fresh, locally grown food that supports the community,” Trask-Eaton said.
She also stressed the need to get younger individuals involved in both fishing and farming and the importance of local ownership of these historic industries.
She said in the upcoming campaign she is going to get out and listen to the district’s constituents.
“I’m going to see as many people as I can,” she said.
On the Republican side of the House District 91 contest, Waldoboro Selectman Abden Simmons will face off against Melvin Williams for the GOP nomination.
Simmons was a member of the Waldoboro Planning Board and sat on the town manager search committee before joining the board of selectmen.
He is also the executive director of the Maine Elver Fisherman Association and has served on the state’s shellfish advisory council, in addition to taking part in the governor’s task force on the invasive European green crab.
Williams is a retired dairy farmer who operated his Waldoboro farm for 35 years and is state director and vice-president of the Knox-Lincoln County Farm Bureau.
Evangelos has represented the district since 2012. He currently sits on the ethics, judiciary, and state and local committees.