Web exclusive, November 7, 2018
High voter turnout makes for lively mid-term election
by Anne Berleant
High voter turnout for a mid-term election year, and numerous same-day voter registrations kept local polls busy on Election Day, November 6, despite a day that ended in drenching rain.
In Sedgwick, 18 of the 681 ballots cast came from voters who registered directly before voting, Registrar of Voters Cindy Reilly said.
The story was the same in Blue Hill. “There were a lot of new voters,” Registrar of Voters Etta Perkins said.
Democratic candidates for House District 133 and Senate District 7 won by healthy margins, with Sarah Pebworth receiving 63 percent of votes to Republican Nancy Colwell’s 37 percent, winning in all towns.
“I still have so much to learn about this district and the concerns everyone has,” Pebworth said the following morning. “I’ll keep talking to people, attending meetings and being available.”
Democrat Louie Luchini easily won in the Senate District 8 race in peninsula towns and district-wide, with 64 percent of the votes to Republican candidate Richard Malaby’s 36 percent.
Newcomer and Stonington Democrat Genevieve McDonald swept the House District 134 race by a two-to-one margin on the island and Isle au Haut, and district-wide took 66 percent of votes to Deer Isle Republican challenger Philip Brady’s 34 percent. Both candidates are newcomers to state politics who sought to fill the seat held for four terms by Walter Kumiega.
“Democracy works best when people have choices,” McDonald said. “Now I want to go to Augusta and get to work.”
Senate District 8 Republican incumbent Kimberley Rosen retained her seat, 58 percent to 42 percent, although Democratic challenger Beverly Uhlenhake was favored by a fair margin in Castine and Penobscot.
Republican Sherm Hutchins won the House District 131 seat with 54 percent of votes district-wide over Democratic challenger Nathalie Arruda but narrowly lost in his home town, 342 votes to Arruda’s 362.
Voters also favored John Wombacher, the Democratic candidate for Hancock County Commissioner, District 2, over Republican incumbent Percy Brown, of Deer Isle, who garnered more votes on the island than Wombacher. Incumbent Republican District Attorney Matt Foster retained his office although Castine and Penobscot voters favored independent challenger Steve Juskewitch.
For Hancock County Judge of Probate, Bar Harbor Democrat Lynne Williams won local voters over Republican incumbent William Blaisdell, but county-wide the race was too close to call by press time.
The peninsula mirrored statewide results in electing Democratic candidate Janet Mills as governor, with the exception of Sedgwick, which favored Republican candidate Shawn Moody.
A tight race for the U.S. House District 2 seat between Democrat Jared Golden and Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin will use ranked choice voting to determine the winner, with each holding about 46 percent of the vote and independent candidate Tiffany Bond receiving 5.6 percent. But locally, Golden was a clear winner.
Independent incumbent Sen. Angus King swept the peninsula and was re-elected with 54 percent of votes statewide, compared to Republican Eric Brakey, with 36 percent, and Democrat Zak Ringelstein with 10 percent.
For U.S. House District 1, Chellie Pingree retained her congressional seat with 57 percent of the vote.
In Washington, Democrats took control of the House, gaining 27 seats, as of press time, while Republicans gained two seats in the Senate, strengthening their majority with 51.