WILTON — There’s a lot of interest in the state Senate seat held for years by Republican Tom Saviello, who can’t run because of term limits.

Jan Collins of Wilton, a retired school teacher, joined the race for the 17th District seat recently.

“I will be a passionate advocate for all the people of Franklin County,” she said in a prepared statement.

“I believe that everyone has value and that we are stronger as a community, state and nation when we honor the contribution of each person and when we support each other,” she said.

Collins is one of two Democrats in the race. Gary McGrane of Jay is also in the running.

On the Republican side, Russell Black is eyeing the seat.


“My legislative priorities will be improving health care access, increasing state funding for education, protection of the environment, property tax relief and criminal justice reform,” Collins said.

Collins retired after 25 years as a public school teacher in high school science and special education, where she served on curriculum committees and mentored student organizations.

She and her husband, Irving Faunce, have owned and operated the Wilton Blueberry Farm for 14 years.

A master Maine naturalist and a lifetime member of the Nature Conservatory and Maine Appalachian Trail Club, and a former board member of the Foothills Land Trust, Collins has been a vernal pool monitor for the Maine Audubon Society and a Bat ME volunteer.

“Over the coming months, I plan to visit every town in the district,” Collins said.

The 17th District encompasses all of Franklin County, and Belgrade, Fayette, Mount Vernon and Vienna in Kennebec County.

By state law, senators are limited to four two-year terms.

If there is a primary, it will be June 12. The election is Nov. 6.

Jan Collins (Photo provided)

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