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Former Yarmouth Rep. Woodbury seeks Senate seat held by Falmouth's Davis

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Former Yarmouth Rep. Woodbury seeks Senate seat held by Falmouth's Davis

YARMOUTH — Former state Rep. Richard Woodbury announced his candidacy Tuesday for the state Senate in District 11.

Woodbury, an independent, served in the House from 2002-2008. His senate candidacy sets up a potential three-way race in November against Sen. Jerry Davis, R-Falmouth, and a Democratic challenger.

District 11 includes Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Gray, Chebeague Island and Long Island.

Davis, who filed candidate registration papers in March of last year, is expected to seek re-election. He said Woodbury is a "fine gentleman" in an e-mail Wednesday morning.

"I wish him well," Davis said.

Woodbury said he is looking forward to the election. He took a break from politics to spend more time with his family, but decided to return to the political arena because he enjoys the work, he said.

"I love Maine, but feel like the state is going through challenging times," he said. "I want to be involved because it is such a special place with great potential."

The biggest challenge facing the state, Woodbury said, is the economy.

"I want to build on the things that are already special about Maine," he said. "The communities, the opportunities to raise a family, the environment."

He also said by running as an independent, he can bring a unique approach to the legislative process.

"Politics can be divisive," he said. "But I can offer a moderate approach that is objective and collaborative. I bring background and skills that are separate from the traditional parties."

Woodbury is an economist with the National Bureau of Economic Research. His expertise is retirement policy, and the economic implications of population aging. He has been a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and wrote a recent study, “The Struggle for Tax Reform in Maine, 2003-2009.” He also has a forthcoming study on state pension plans in New England.

Woodbury is a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts and earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University. His three sons, ages 14, 16 and 17, are in the Yarmouth school system, and his wife Debbie is a sixth-grade teacher in South Portland.

"I have represented Yarmouth for six years on the House side," he said. "I know Yarmouth and Yarmouth knows me. The challenge and excitement of this race is that I am reaching out to a broader district. ... I am planning to go after this aggressively."

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net