Republican District 41 incumbent Rep. James S. Gillway of Searsport is running for a third term against Independent District 42 Rep. Joseph Brooks of Winterport to represent District 98 in the Maine Legislature. The new district comprises Frankfort, Winterport, Swanville and Searsport.

In addition to representing District 41 in the Maine House since 2010, Gillway has been the Searsport Town Manager since 2005.

Before graduating from the University of Maine in Orono in 1985 with a degree in legal systems, Gillway began work as a constable in Winterport. He also served as deputy sheriff of Waldo County during that time and as Searsport chief of police from 1987 to 2005. Gillway was granted leaves of absence to serve as international police adviser for the U.S. State Department in Kosovo from 1999 to 2001 and Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

Gillway has been married to Bobbie Jo Gillway for 27 years. They have three adult sons and one granddaughter. He is a member of the Searsport Lions Club and the Winterport Howard Masonic Lodge 69. He has been a Boy Scout leader for more than 20 years.

The candidates each answered questions posed by the newspaper as requested by readers.

Why are you running for office? I am running because there is a lot more work to be done. I have been working diligently to give our region a voice in Augusta. I know first hand that our local towns work hard to keep their budgets and spending in check. We don't ask Augusta for handouts, but simply can not afford the cuts that have been either initiated or proposed over the past twelve years. We are all in this financial crisis together and must work to seek out real solutions that don't shift tax burdens to our property taxes.

What is the greatest challenge facing the state of Maine? Finding a way of attracting good companies that will create jobs without destroying our environment or significantly changing our way of life.

In an online poll, our readers repeatedly raised concerns that lawmakers spend too much time fighting along political party lines and cannot seem to cooperate across party lines to get the business of the state done. Can you describe an issue in which you disagree with your political party? There are many members of my political party who feel that issuing bonds should never be done no matter what the circumstance. I disagree with that. I lobbied hard in the last session to put together bond packages that created jobs and built infrastructure for Maine. One of the bonds I supported was the transportation bond.

Can you describe a situation or an issue in which you would be willing to compromise or work with members of the other party? The partisanship is not as bad as the media would like to make it out to be. If you were to sit in my committee, Transportation, you probably would not be able to tell a democrat from a republican. We work together very well and rarely divide our votes along party lines. As for issues, I am always willing to work with anyone no matter what party.

Many argue that cuts in state aid to education, roads, revenue sharing for towns and other areas have shifted more tax burden onto local property tax payers. What do you see as the reason for increases in local property taxes? What would you do as a candidate to address the property tax burden? I probably have the best understanding of the tax shift created by Augusta's policies and laws than any other candidate for any office. For the past four years and at least four prior to being elected, I have been defending our current municipal property tax relief programs. I do think that all government (town, school, county and the state) have to do their best to keep their budgets in check. We all need to “right size” our staff and budgets to keep the tax burden a small as possible.

How can we afford quality education for Maine's children and balance that need with the burden faced by taxpayers? I think the general failure we are seeing with consolidation proves that less (administration) is not more (money for teaching). We do need to look at alternative and specialized areas of education. Last year, I introduced a bill to create a magnet school in Searsport that would concentrate on science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields around marine related fields and oceanography. It is a great concept that could bring in students from away to learn technical trade skills or better prepare others for college and university studies. This bill was rejected by the democrat members of the legislative council and never made it to the floor. This was very frustrating but I will bring it back next year when the legislative filter does not exists and we will get heard.

What is your position on expanding health care for the uninsured? How should that be addressed? I could support the expansion of healthcare if we could find a way to pay for it. The last time we expanded healthcare, the demand was so high, we couldn't pay the hospitals. We now have the Affordable Care Act in place and everyone should have access to affordable insurance.

What, if anything, would you change about welfare programs in the state of Maine? We must work harder to reduce fraud and theft in this program in order to ensure that the limited money coming to the state of Maine gets to the people who truly need it.

Would you favor raising the minimum wage? To what level? I think the minimum wage should be looked at. It is not reasonable to simply go with the flow and copy what New York or New Jersey are doing. Our cost of living needs to be factored into it and we also need to make sure that the impact of any increase will not be so severe as to force our small business to suffer or even close.

What policies would you favor to encourage business and job growth? I agree with our governor that high energy cost are probably the biggest obstacle to attracting business. Until we can get a handle on the cost of energy there is very little we can do. How do we balance the needs of the business community with the need for labor and environmental protections and taxes to fund public services? We need to elect people in Augusta who can think outside the box and will be open to change. I am willing to listen to all sides and find reasonable compromises to make change.