Helen Shaw announced her candidacy Feb. 12 for the Maine House District 46 seat that represents Camden and Rockport.

“It is time to take Maine in a new direction,” Shaw said in a press release. “Maine cannot continue on the path of dependency. We need to create new jobs, bring more jobs into the state, and educate our people to fill those jobs.”

Shaw is running as a Republican. The seat is held by Democratic Rep. Joan Welsh of Rockport.

Shaw said cutting the state budget should not be an across-the-board hatchet job. Instead every department should be required to create a performance management plan. She said there should also be an analysis of which programs duplicate services offered by other programs or departments.

Shaw was a community activist in Chicago, serving as a member and president of her neighborhood association. She also was a member and chairman of the local planning board where she led community efforts to create the first historic business district in Chicago and coordinated community input on the rehabilitation and expansion of the neighborhood elevated train stop. In 1995 she was appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to the Lincoln Park Community Conservation Council, a federally mandated committee advising the Chicago Planning Department on the sale and development of urban renewal property in Lincoln Park. Shaw was also a member of the executive committee of the Friends of the New Lincoln Park Library and a member of the board of trustees of a local private kindergarten to eighth-grade school.

Shaw moved to Rockport in the summer of 2003 with her husband and their two sons. She was appointed to the Camden-Rockport Bicycle and Pathways Committee in early 2004. In November of that year she was elected to the Rockport Charter Commission and helped write the document that now governs the town. In 2006 Shaw became the West Rockport Cemetery Association’s representative to the Rockport Cemetery Committee. In the fall of 2008 she was appointed to the Rockport Elementary School East Re-development Committee and in June 2009 she was elected to the Rockport Budget Committee.

She has been married to William “Bill” Chapman since 1979. They have two sons, William “Will” Shaw-Chapman, a student at the University of Southern Maine where his grandfather received his teaching certificate, and Nathaniel “Nate” Shaw-Chapman, a graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School and a student at Eastern Maine Community College.

Shaw was born in North Dakota and has strong family ties to Ohio and Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan. She followed a career in medical and social science research, working for the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan, the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago, the National Osteopathic Association, the American Medical Association, and the Lighthouse Institute of Chestnut Health Systems.

Since leaving full-time employment, Shaw has focused on genealogical and historical research and last month she earned certified genealogist status from the Board of Certification of Genealogists. She has served as vice president and newsletter editor of the Old Broad Bay Family History Association for several years and was recently elected vice president of the Maine Genealogical Society. Locally she teaches genealogical classes for adult education programs. She is the author of numerous publications, both from her professional career in anthropology and in genealogy, and has presented lectures at local, state, regional and national genealogical conferences.

Shaw ran for the House seat in 2008 in an election won by Welsh.