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In local races

Incumbents prevail; two districts go to recount

Town questions pass in Stockton Springs, Montville
By Carolyn Zachary | Nov 12, 2020
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Behind a plexiglass screen and under a face mask and facial covering are Ballot Clerk Karen York, left, and Registrar of Voters Kate Campbell at the Montville Town House Nov. 3.

Waldo County's state Senate seat remains in the Democratic column with a new occupant after the Nov. 3 election, while incumbents appear to have prevailed in all of the state House races. Close votes in House Districts 96 and 98 will be recounted Friday, Nov. 20.

Former Democratic state Sen. Erin Herbig of Belfast chose not to seek a second term after landing the job of Belfast city manager earlier this year. In the election to fill her Senate District 11 seat, Glenn "Chip" Curry, a teacher and academic adviser from Belfast, beat retired Marine Corps Col. Duncan Milne of Liberty by a margin of 1,850 votes.

Curry carried the county's largest population centers, including Belfast, Lincolnville, Northport, Searsport and Stockton Springs, while Republican Milne carried 15 smaller towns. The final tally was 12,650 for Curry to 10,800 for Milne.

Pending the recounts Friday, incumbent Democrats will retain their House seats in Districts 96, 97 and 98 and incumbent Republicans prevailed in Districts 99 and 131.

In unofficial results, District 96 Republican challenger Katrina Smith of Palermo lost to incumbent Democratic Rep. S. Paige Zeigler of Montville by only 67 votes, 2,974-2,907. In District 98, Republican Jessica Connor of Searsport fell 113 votes short in her quest to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Cuddy of Winterport, 2,710-2,597.

Zeigler appears to have won a third term representing Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont. A retired merchant marine captain, former teacher and professional logger, he serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Smith, a former human resources director, is an associate real estate broker.

Cuddy appears to have won the seat representing Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport for a second term. He is a member of the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing. A member of the Regional School Unit 22 Board of Directors, Cuddy is an IBEW journeyman electrician and previously worked as director of digital advertising for a local design firm. Connor is a small-business woman and community leader.

The two candidate-requested recounts will take place in the Burton M. Cross Office Building adjacent to the State House in Augusta between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 20. Originally planned for Friday, Nov. 13, the recounts have been rescheduled because an employee of the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions tested positive for COVID-19. All offices on the fourth floor of the Burton M. Cross Building were closed Thursday, Nov. 12, as crews clean the work spaces, and closure may extend through Friday, Nov. 13, as well.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, unofficial results show Zeigler winning with a 1.14% lead over Smith and Cuddy winning with a 2.13% lead over Connor. Per Maine law, a $500 deposit is required for a recount with a margin above 1.5%.

In heavily Democratic District 97, Rep. Jan Dodge of Belfast, a Democrat, is heading into her second term representing Belfast, Waldo and Northport. Republican William "Bill" Elliott of Belfast, an artist with experience in banking, investing, fundraising and fire fighting, lost his bid for the seat, 3,789-1,871.

Dodge, a retired teacher, is a member of the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

Incumbent Republican Rep. MaryAnne Kinney of Knox won her fourth term representing District 99 (Brooks, Burnham, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Monroe, Thorndike, Troy and Unity). Kinney for the third time defeated Democratic challenger April Turner, a social worker who lives in Freedom, 2,682-2,248.

A maple syrup producer, Kinney is ranking member of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee and also serves on the State and Local Government Committee.

House District 131 consists of just two towns in Waldo County (Stockton Springs and Prospect) and five towns in Hancock County (Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot and Verona Island). In her second effort to win the seat, Democrat Veronica Magnan of  Stockton Springs lost to incumbent Republican Rep. Sherman "Sherm" Hutchins of Penobscot, 3,267-2,292.

Magnan, a retired educator, represented then-District 41 in the Maine House. Hutchins, a retired building contractor, is a member of the Marine Resources Committee.

Local ballot issues

In two towns, voters also addressed ballot questions Nov. 3.

Residents of Stockton Springs voted by an overwhelming 864 to 174 in favor of allowing Sunday liquor sales in town. Town Clerk Christina Hassapelis said the measure was not for the benefit of any particular business in town, but to legalize Sunday sales in general.

Montville residents approved four measures:
- Appropriating $23,133 toward the Liberty Volunteer Ambulance Service, by a vote of 480 to 160. The additional funds will help pay wages through 2020.
- Entering into a five-year lease-to-buy arrangement for a new grader with funds not to exceed $100,000, by a vote of 511 to 131.
- Selling both the town's packer truck used at the transfer station (585-56), and the old 1989 Champion grader (564-78).
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