Most local legislators said they plan to seek another two-year term in the Legislature.

A few legislators, however, can’t run for their seats again this year because of term limits.

And Knox County Commission Chairwoman Anne Beebe-Center said Jan. 4 she would not seek another term on the county board.

The county sheriff said she would seek another term.

Nomination papers for legislative and county seats became available last week, although signatures could not be collected until Jan. 1. Party candidates have until March 15 to collect signatures and file nomination papers with the Maine secretary of state to get on the June 8 primary ballot. Unenrolled — also known as independent — candidates have until June 1 to file their papers to get on the Nov. 2 ballot along with the winners of the party primaries.

VillageSoup contacted local legislators and county officials to find out whether they would seek re-election.

State Sens. Christopher Rector, R-Thomaston, and A. David Trahan, R-Waldoboro, and Reps. Edward Mazurek, D-Rockland, Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, Joan Welsh, D-Rockport, Wes Richardson, R-Warren, Andrew O’Brien, D-Lincolnville, Elizabeth Miller, D-Somerville, and Veronica Magnan, D-Searsport, said they would seek re-election.

Three local legislators who will not be able to run for their current seats this year are House Speaker Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, Sen. Carol Weston, R-Montville, and Rep. John Piotti, D-Unity. They have all served four consecutive terms and are barred from seeking another consecutive term due to the state’s term limit law.

Weston represents all of Waldo County.

Pingree represents House District 36, which covers North Haven, Vinalhaven, Isle au Haut and the Hancock County towns of Brooklin, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Stonington, Swan’s Island, and Tremont, and part of Mount Desert.

Piotti represents House District 45, which covers Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville, Palermo, Thorndike, Troy and Unity.

Legislators to run again

Rector said he would seek a second term. He is serving his first term in the Senate after three terms in the House. He represents Senate District 22, which includes all of Knox County except Friendship and Washington.

Trahan is serving his first term in the Senate, representing District 20, which covers all of Lincoln County and the Knox County towns of Friendship and Washington and the Kennebec County town of Windsor. He also served four terms in the Maine House (1998 through 2006) before he was unable to run again due to term limits.

“I enjoy public service and feel I am achieving some of my goals,” Trahan said. “In addition, times are going to be tight and I want to ensure the people of my district have a strong voice for common sense.”

Mazurek said he would seek a fourth term. He represents House District 47, which covers Rockland and part of Owls Head.

“I have provided the Midcoast region with strong, positive leadership,” Mazurek said. “Much of the legislation that I have introduced was at the request of people in our district. As a veteran legislator, I have earned the respect of my fellow legislators, through hard work, open mindedness and an independent spirit.”

He said as co-chairman of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee he will continue to maintain and improve the state’s infrastructure, and find a stable funding source for the highway fund. He said he will also continue to preserve and strengthen the fishing industry.

“In the next session, we will have to continue to maintain our fiscal responsibility and look to stabilize our state resources,” he said. “I will continue to represent the people of Rockland and Owls Head with dedication and hard work.”

Kruger is serving his first term in the House, representing District 48, which covers Thomaston, St. George, South Thomaston, Matinicus, Criehaven and part of Owls Head.

“I feel that my combination of life and business experience, plus my temperament, maturity, and ability to understand all sides of complex issues, make me a good fit as a state representative,” Kruger said. “I think my moderate approach to critical issues is in sync with the district; and so far I’ve enjoyed the challenges and learning experiences that my service has afforded.”

Welsh said she would seek another term. Welsh is serving her first term in the House. She represents House District 46, which covers Camden and Rockport.

“I have found that the first term is a real learning time,” Welsh said. “As with any new and complicated job, it takes a good year to learn the complexities, and I feel that a second term will allow me to put to use the things I’ve learned as a freshman legislator.  As you know, there are no simple answers to the multiple issues and questions that come before the Maine Legislature. I am looking forward to this second half of my freshman term, having gained the experience the first session last year. I hope that a second term will allow me to be more effective at representing Camden and Rockport.”

O’Brien is serving his first term in the House, representing District 44, which covers Appleton, Hope, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Morrill and Searsmont.

“The first term has been an amazing learning experience and I feel that I have been able to make a difference,” O’Brien said. “However, now that I have developed a better understanding of how things work in Augusta through my experience in this term, I feel I am even better equipped to help shape public policy during the next term.”

Richardson, who has served three terms, said he would seek re-election. He represents House District 49, which covers Friendship, Cushing, Union and Warren.

“I am looking forward to working with new leadership for a better Maine,” Richardson said.

Miller said she would seek a fourth term in the House. She represents House District 52, which covers Somerville, Washington, Chelsea, Whitefield, Hibberts Gore and part of Jefferson.

“I represent an area of small rural towns … there is still more work to do to ensure that they are healthy, viable communities with expanding economic opportunities,” Miller said. “Also, I serve on the Appropriations Committee. Next term we will face once again a deficit budget. I want to continue my work on that committee, finding ways to make government smaller and more responsive while preserving essential safety net services for families in a slow economic recovery.”

Magnan said she would seek another term. She is serving her first term. She represents House District 41, which covers Frankfort, Searsport, Orland, Prospect, Stockton Springs and Verona Island.

“I believe that it is very important that the people of District 41 have an experienced legislator who has the time and knowledge to represent their needs and concerns in Augusta,” Magnan said. “I can tell you from experience, being a freshman legislator is a sharp learning curve. It takes much time to learn the legislative process and meet the people who are involved in the various aspects of governing at the state level. I have done this, and look forward to using my experience to represent the people of our wonderful communities.”
Rep. Jayne Crosby Giles, R-Belfast, is serving her second term. She represents House District 43, which covers Belfast, Belmont and Northport. Giles said she would announce her plans later in the month.

Other legislators who had not returned e-mail questions from Jan. 2 and whose terms expire this year include:

Rep. Wendy Pieh, D-Bremen, is serving her fourth term and second consecutive term. She represents House District 50, which covers Waldoboro, Bremen, Nobleboro and part of Jefferson.

Rep. Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, is serving his second term. He represents House District 42, which covers Brooks, Jackson, Monroe, Swanville, Waldo and Winterport.

County seats

In Knox County, the seats for sheriff, district attorney and one county commissioner are up for election in November.

Democrat Anne Beebe-Center of Rockland is serving her second four-year term. County District 1 represents Rockland, Rockport, Owls Head and South Thomaston. She said Jan. 4 she would not seek a third term.

Beebe-Center said she is pleased with what has been accomplished over the past eight years and believes the county is in good shape.

Sheriff Donna Dennison, a Democrat, said she would seek a second term. Dennison is in her first four-year term in office. She was the first Democrat to be elected sheriff in Knox County since 1920. She is also the only woman to be elected sheriff in Maine.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau — a Republican who represents Knox, Lincoln, Waldo and Sagadahoc counties — is serving his fourth four-year term. He was initially appointed in 1993 by Gov. John McKernan when William Anderson was appointed as a judge.

A telephone message was left with Rushlau Jan. 4.

State Senate candidates in political parties need to collect at least 100 signatures to get on the ballot. State House candidates need 25 signatures, county commission candidates need 50 signatures and candidates for other county seats need 150 signatures. Non-party candidates need double the number of signatures to get on the fall ballot.