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Katrina Smith: State needs to sell itself better

GOP challenger thinks people are taxed enough
By Fran Gonzalez | Sep 10, 2020
Courtesy of: Katrina Smith Katrina Smith is the Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives in District 96 seat currently held by Democrat Stanley Paige Zeigler of Montville.

Palermo — Katrina Smith, a Palermo resident, is the Republican candidate for the Maine House of Representatives in District 96, a seat currently held by Democrat Stanley Paige Zeigler of Montville. After seeing a lot of recent legislation that did not reflect her values, Smith said, she decided to run for office.

An Appleton native, Smith attended Camden Hills Regional High School and majored in sociology at Gordon College in Massachusetts. She and her husband have three children and invest in residential real estate which they resell at a profit. She also has a real estate license.

Smith thinks people are taxed enough. Frugality and common sense should be the guiding principles of government, she said.

She spoke of the importance of protecting the First and Second Amendments and using innovative ideas and solutions to expand the state's economy. She said she supports President Trump and believes political and social agendas should be kept out of schools.

We recorded a Zoom interview with Smith Aug. 13, in which she said she is running for office because of many things she is not happy with currently, including looking ahead to her children’s future and the loss of conservative values. She would like to “help keep Maine the way I’ve always known.”

Pandemic

Smith agreed with the actions taken by Gov. Janet Mills at the onset of the pandemic, saying “there was a lot happening and we needed to lock down pretty much just to be safe.” But after about a month, Smith said, it was “too much,” and with the gradual opening of the economy, she felt it was arbitrary that large stores like Walmart were allowed to open, while small corner stores remained closed.

“I think the governor needs to allow people to be adults, ... and let people make their own choices,” she said, “protecting each other.” She feels the state should open up more.

Policing

Smith said she would not make any changes to police funding, and, if anything, she feels there should be more funds allocated for increased awareness and de-escalation training.

Maine’s economy

Smith said the state should be much more aggressive in finding employers to expand the economy. “We do a great job of selling Maine with lobsters and blueberries and with the tourist season,” she said. “I think we could sell Maine a lot more.” The state needs organizations and committees actively seeking employers, she said, and a workforce that is ready and able.  “We need to find employers that we would like to pinpoint, and draw them in,” she said.

Taxes

Smith said she did not support allowing municipalities to impose local sales taxes to offset the cost of providing services. She said if anything, she would get rid of some taxes, saying communities are taxed enough.

Climate change

Smith feels that Maine is not on the “forefront” of ruining the environment, although she is not against “taking a look at things” to find ways to improve. “I’m definitely not interested in the transportation and climate initiative the governor has talked about joining, by increasing taxes on our gas,” she said.

As compared to other states, she said, “I don’t think Maine is responsible for a ton of environmental pollution.” Smith did not think changing school buses to electric-type vehicles would make economic sense.

Abortion

Being a conservative candidate, she said, she is definitely pro-life. Smith has also volunteered at Care Net in Rockland, a pregnancy crisis center, and feels there is a lot that can be done to support women and take away the fear of having a child.

Guns

Maine is one of the safest, if not the safest, state in the nation, she said, and added that she would not support any increased regulations having to do with limiting people’s Second Amendment rights.

Education

Smith supports school choice, giving students a choice about where they want to attend school. Schools would become more competitive in the long run, she said, and would give us a better educational system overall. Some of the funding can be “moved around” she said, adding that the number of administrative staff in public schools seems higher in Maine compared to other states.

Broadband internet

Smith supports investing in broadband internet, citing her household as an example where everyone cannot be on the internet at the same time. “If the kids are home from school again,” she said, “we’re really struggling.”

She added, “I do believe we need better internet to grow and attract new businesses.”

In closing, she said her philosophy in life has always been if there is a problem, to find the solution. “If you keep talking it through, you get tons of different ideas ... keep hashing things out until you find a solution.”

She feels the state could use this philosophy to deal with current issues and would like to have the opportunity to serve.

Katrina Smith
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