Bruce Bickford takes aim at a state Senate seat

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Rep. Bruce Bickford, an Auburn Republican, is aiming to move on to the state Senate.

Bickford said Thursday he intends to run for the seat that Republican Eric Brakey has held since 2014. Brakey is running for the U.S. Senate instead.

Bickford has served four nonconsecutive terms in the House. He could have simply chosen to run for re-election in 2018.

Bickford, a former Auburn city councilor, retired after managing businesses in the region for more than three decades.

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Bickford is no shoo-in for the seat. Brakey was the first senator in years to successfully hold the seat when he ran for re-election in 2016.

Bickford said he is proud of the work he’s done on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee, which eliminated what he called “the job-killing surtax” that Maine voters approved last fall but which lawmakers wiped out this year.

First elected to the House in 2008, Bickford pointed out that the state’s economy “has strengthened tremendously” since then, but “there is still plenty of work to be done to make Maine competitive again for our children and generations to come.”

Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo, said in a prepared statement that Bickford “does a tremendous job representing his community in Augusta.”

He said the 20th Senate district has been well-served by Brakey and will be again if Bickford is successful in winning the seat for the GOP.

The Edward Little High School graduate is married, with four adult children.

The district includes Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls.

scollins@sunjournal.com

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