House District 62 Republican candidates Katrina Smith and Jennifer Tuminaro will face off in the June 14 primaries. Both want to look at education and decreasing government spending, among other issues.

The district is composed of China, Palermo, Somerville, Windsor and Hibberts Gore.

Tuminaro, of China, has been homeschooling her four children since 2011, she said in an email to The Republican Journal. With an MBA from the University of Maine and experience in banking and bookkeeping, she thinks she has good knowledge and experience to represent her district.

“Having managed the finances for my two small businesses for over 10 years, I know how to regulate expenses, optimize resources, and budget accurately to keep my businesses financially strong,” she said.

Smith, of Palermo, is the former Waldo County Republican Committee chairman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She has worked on the Rules and Bylaws Committee for the Maine GOP and is one of the founders of the Maine Grassroots Caucus. She worked on the referendum process to overturn taxpayer-funded abortions and the aid-in-dying law. She is also a real estate broker and co-owns a corporation that renovates homes in Maine and Florida, she said in an email to The Republican Journal.

Tuminaro thinks having parents involved in their children’s education is important — it is one of the key factors in a child’s social and academic success, she said. As a parent who homeschools her children, she is able to provide her children with an education not based on standardized testing.

She wants to increase children’s academic potential and parental choice and involvement in schools, she said. She wants parents to have more of an influence on their child’s education.

“Our school systems must provide an environment of cooperation, transparency, and a commitment to put a child’s educational needs as their top priority. We must do better for our children,” she said.

Smith has seen parents, students and health care workers lose their freedoms for the last two years, she said. She thinks it is a pattern that needs to be reversed immediately. She takes issue with things like parents not being allowed to record their child’s school Zoom calls and health care workers losing their jobs because of COVID-19 requirements.

“… Overall Mainers have felt the force of the government as it tries to rule even the most minuscule parts of our lives,” she said. “Freedom is essential and we do not need to be creating more laws for citizens to have to live under.”

Her Palermo opponent also wants to tackle over-taxation and government spending. Smith said the $850 relief checks to workers in the state are evidence of over-taxation. She wants to see the state stop funding “pet projects” and vows not to support tax increase if she is elected, she said. She wants to end funding for all projects that do not immediately benefit residents in her district.

Ending the income tax and reducing taxes are two issues she will push for whenever she has the opportunity, Smith said. She thinks those issues are hitting people particularly hard in the face of increasing fuel and living expenses.

“We must put legislators into office who see and listen to the hardships their neighbors are undergoing and seek real solutions that will keep Mainers in their homes and allow them to live comfortably and not scrape by,” she said. All solutions must be explored to ensure no one in Maine goes hungry because they must choose between electricity or food.”

Tuminaro is concerned about the way government spending is impacting people’s budgets, she said. She thinks if residents were taxed less, then it could offset fuel and other living expenses for people. She also wants to see more transparency in government spending and she would like to see the government held more accountable to its citizens regarding how much it spends.

“Another area of concern is the continued decrease of family budgets against the continued increase of government spending,” Tuminaro said. “Mainers need to keep more of what they earn to combat the rising costs of fuel, food, and everyday expenses.”

She vows to support and defend the Constitution, she said. She thinks the government’s role should be limited and it should never restrict citizens’ liberties. She would also like to see the state be more responsive to the needs of its citizens.

Smith would like to make Maine more business-friendly, she said. It is essential for the next generations to be able to live and work in the state. She thinks this is the answer to most of the major issues families face.

“We need to explore innovative ideas to attract business, reduce the antagonistic licensure laws and create incentives for businesses to reopen and move to Maine,” she said. “The answer to child care, health care, housing and educational opportunity lies in our ability to employ our citizens at good-paying, stable jobs.”

Tuminaro thinks her experience in finance and education place her above the competition for the House District 62 race, she said. She has been active at the China Primary School as a soccer coach and has worked in the classroom, as well as in the Parent Teacher Association. She has also worked as a substitute teacher at the Erskine Academy in China and Coney High School in Augusta.

Smith thinks her track record of speaking publicly about conservative issues for the last three years sets her apart from other candidates, she said. She has also spent years educating others on current legislation and that process. As the Waldo County Republican chairman, she said she has become a trusted source for information and knowledge about what political direction the state should take.

The GOP primary winner will vie with Democrat Pamela J. Swift of Palermo for the Maine House District 62 seat in the November general election. Swift has no opponent in the June 14 primary.