Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 8, 2012
Incumbents keep seats, voters turn out in numbers
by Faith DeAmbrose and Jessica Brophy
Statewide, the vote for the U.S. president was 56 percent for Barack Obama, with all four of Maine’s electoral college votes going for the Democratic incumbent. Forty-one percent of the vote went to Republican challenger Mitt Romney. In the five Weekly Packet towns—Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Sedgwick and Surry—62 percent voted for Obama.
Former Governor and Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate Angus King won handily statewide with 53 percent of the vote, as it was in the Peninsula towns.
Statewide, State Senator for District 28 Brian Langley (R) was re-elected by 572 votes, 51 to 49 percent over challenger David White (D). In the five Peninsula towns, the margin was larger, with Langley garnering 61 percent of the vote.
Langley said he is “proud to go back to work.” The senator said he had several projects in progress, including furthering the “Bridge Year” program, other educational reforms, and addressing the fisheries.
When asked via phone on November 7 whether he was surprised at the close race, Langley said he was “surprised by a lot of things last night.” He said two years ago he won with 51 percent and had hoped to have a similar showing.
“You don’t ever take anything for granted,” said Langley.
District 37 Representative Ralph Chapman (D) of Brooksville was re-elected district-wide by an 11 percent-point margin over Republican challenger Sherman Hutchins of Penobscot. In the five Packet towns, Chapman took the race with nearly 59 percent of the vote.
After winning the election, Chapman said he was “pleased with the decisive” win, but said the concept we all need to deal with today, “is that we are all in this together.”
In his next term, Chapman said he will work on local food, education and lobster processing issues and is primed to use his background to assist the state in issues involving energy.
Chapman said he was dismayed by the negative advertising that was not from his opponent, but from outside influences, including the state party system. “People stopped me in the grocery store and were upset about it,” he said adding he would be interested in eliminating SuperPAC funds that aim to interfere with elections.
District 36 Representative Walter Kumiega (D) of Deer Isle was re-elected by a nearly 30 percent-point margin over Republican challenger Kim Strauss. In Brooklin, Kumiega received 69 percent of the vote.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, November 7, Kumiega said it felt “great to have the support of the people.” Kumiega said there are a number of issues related to fishing on the horizon for the legislature, including the lobster marketing program and possible licensing changes. He said another issue on the radar for this term is streamlining food processing law.
Maine became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote. While Question 1 passed with 53 percent of the vote statewide, in Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Sedgwick and Surry the margin was greater, with nearly 63 percent in favor of same-sex marriage.
The state passed three of the four bond measures handily, as did The Weekly Packet towns. The conservation bond issue of $5 million for Land for Maine’s future passed, as did the $51.5 million transportation and the $7.9 million drinking water bond issues. Question 2, the bond issue requesting $11.3 million for higher education improvements, was too close to call as of press time. In Surry, voters shot down that bond issue by 13 votes, and Sedgwick was in favor of the bond measure by only six votes.