In a close race between two Belfast candidates, Jan Dodge defeated Caitlin Hills for the Democratic nomination in Maine House District 97 by an unofficial tally of 815-703.

Hills and Dodge both were seeking nomination for Maine House District 97, which includes Belfast, Northport and Waldo. The district is currently represented by Erin Herbig, who is running for the county Senate seat.

Speaking after the close of polls Tuesday night, Dodge was quick to give credit to her staff.

"My folks, they've been wonderfully supportive and kind to someone who was new to this," she said. "I didn't always know what to do, but I was following my heart."

Dodge said she decided to run last June after the state shutdown and in light of Legislature's inaction on several citizen-initiated referendums. During her campaign, Dodge said she visited 1,265 homes and returned with a handwritten follow-up note to each one.

Results for the House District 97 race were delayed in Belfast after a corrupted USB drive took the Ward 5 voting tabulator out of commission. Election workers hand-counted ballots until almost midnight.

Dodge will face off in November against Bevelyn Beatty, the presumptive Republican nominee. Beatty's name appeared on the Republican primary ballot alongside that of Rita Horsey, who dropped out of the race after the deadline for her name to be removed from the ballot.

Editor's note: Figures from Belfast have been updated with final unofficial tallies.