LINCOLNVILLE — Joseph McLaughlin of Lincolnville was recently selected to run as the Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives in District 40, which includes the towns of Appleton, Islesboro, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill and Searsmont.

McLaughlin received a unanimous vote at a caucus of district towns last month to fill a vacancy after a local candidate withdrew. In his announcement Aug. 20, he said he wants a state government “that solves everyday problems facing Maine citizens, not contributes to them.”

“Maine has lost a lot these past few years, with daily life becoming increasingly unaffordable for average citizens and people on fixed income,” McLaughlin said in the announcement. “Even if inflation stopped now, it costs the average American household $8,607 more than a year ago. Think about what that means for Mainers. I never considered politics before, but it’s time for regular people to come together and bring some common sense to state government.”

McLaughlin said he is also concerned about the lives being lost to drug overdoses, especially to fentanyl.

“The biggest issue that is not being talked about is fentanyl,” he said. “I think we need get serious about creating harsh penalties for people bringing it in from out-of-state. We also need to create avenues for Mainers to get help with their addiction, while also maintaining a system of accountability. This problem is a threat to families, businesses and, at its current rate, it is going to touch everyone.”

According to the press release, McLaughlin has been connected to three family-owned restaurants, working in that industry his entire life, so he knows the challenges facing workers and their employers. He said he stands with his fellow employees in opposing efforts to reduce workers’ wages through elimination of the tip credit.

In addition to being a homeowner, McLaughlin is also a landlord, which makes him aware of the issue of affordable housing and the regulatory pressures that cause people to choose short-term over long-term rentals, he said.

McLaughlin grew up in Lincolnville, where he attended middle school, then graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School. He is a single parent, raising his son Wyatt, and is engaged. McLaughlin can be reached at mclaughlinfordistrict40@gmail.com.

He will face Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, in the general election in November. Zeigler is seeking his fourth term in the Maine House, where he has been representing District 96 (Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont).