Mills is Maine’s First Female Governor in Historic Election

Downeast leans toward Moody

By Lura Jackson

 

With the 2018 midterm elections now complete, Maine has broken new ground in its political arena. Democrat Janet Mills received the largest share of votes in the state to become its first female governor. In another first, the determination of the U.S. House of Representatives second district remains in contention between Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin and Democrat Jared Golden, with the result to be calculated by Ranked Choice Voting.

Local elections and results

In Calais, voters chose experienced City Councilors Artie Mingo and Eddie Moreside to continue on their paths of city guidance over relative newcomer Jarod Farn-Guillette. James MacDonald ran uncontested for the School Committee.

At the County level, Republican Matthew Foster will continue to serve as District Attorney for Washington and Hancock Counties after defeating his challenger, Steven Juskewitch. Foster received 59.4 percent of the votes to Juskewitch’s 40.6 percent.

Barry Curtis had no challengers to his position as Sheriff; Lyman Holmes ran unopposed as County Treasurer; Lyman Holmes will remain the Judge of Probate; Carlene Holmes is the Register of Probate; Sharon Strout is the Register of Deeds.

State offices – Mills is Governor, Moody carries WaCo

In the State House of Representatives, Democrat Anne Perry of Calais will continue to represent District 140. Perry won 60.1 percent of the votes to Art Carter’s 39.9 percent. District 141 will be represented by Republican Kathy Javner, who won 68.1 percent of the vote to Democrat Donald Green’s 31.9 percent. District 139 will continue to be represented by Republican Will Tuell, who won 70.7 percent of the votes to his opponent Lisa Hansom’s 29.3.

In the State Senate, Republican Marianne Moore of Calais will be representing Senate District 6; she defeated her opponent, Christina Therrien, with 63.2 percent of the vote.

The state’s Executive office will be headed by Democrat Janet Mills, the State’s Attorney General. Mills received 50.8 percent of the votes in the state overall; Republican Shawn Moody received a respectable 43.2; Independent Terry Hayes came in with 5.9 percent. Independent Alan Caron withdrew on the day of voting, meaning ballots in favor of him were counted as blank votes.

Locally, Washington County’s results were flipped and mirrored to that of the state’s. Moody won Washington County with 50.1 percent; Mills received 43.9. A steady 6 percent supported Hayes.

In Calais, 1,142 votes were returned, and the results generally followed the county pattern with a small push toward the Independents. Moody carried the vote at 47.8 percent; Mills received 42.7; Hayes received 7.6; Caron received 1.8.

In Baileyville, where approximately 527 ballots were cast, Republican Moody gained ground in a pattern that was repeated for the U.S. Senate race. Moody received 54 percent; Mills, 41.4, and Hayes, 4.6.

Representatives to D.C. and the RCV factor

Eyes around the nation are watching carefully as Maine navigates its first experience with Ranked Choice Voting in an incredibly close race between Republican Bruce Poliquin and Democrat Jared Golden. If Golden wins, he will unseat the lone Republican holding office in the U.S. House of Representatives for New England.

If Ranked Choice Voting had not been officially implemented earlier this year, Poliquin would be the winner. The incumbent received 46.2 percent of the vote to Golden’s 45.5, with Tiffany Bond coming in at 5. 8 percent and William Hoar at 2.4. Since no one achieved a majority, the results are to be tabulated under the Ranked Choice system. Under that system, all votes in which Poliquin or Golden was ranked as “second choice” by those who voted for Bond and Hoar as their first choice will be put toward their respective candidate until a majority is achieved.

Based on exit polling that indicates that Independent voters lean in favor of Golden, analyzers are anticipating that he will gain the seat. Poliquin’s office released a public statement that they have “ongoing concerns” about the Ranked Choice Voting process.

Locally, Poliquin and Golden were neck and neck in Calais with 47 and 45.7 percent of the vote respectively. Bond came in at 4.5 and Hoar at 2.8. In Baileyville, Poliquin netted a more substantial 53 percent of the votes to Golden’s 40.5; Bond and Hoar received 3.9 and 2.5 respectively.

The state’s second U.S. House of Representatives seat was held squarely by Democrat Chellie Pingree, who won 58.8 percent of the votes cast. With a clear majority, there was no need to follow the next steps of the Ranked Choice Voting System. Republican Mark Holbrook received 32.4 percent of the votes and Independent Martin Grohman received 8.7 percent.

For the U.S. Senate, Mainers once again supported their former governor, Independent Angus King. Incumbent King received 54.4 percent of the vote while Republican Eric Brakey received 35.3. Democrat Zak Ringelstein trailed with 10.3 percent. King carried both Calais and Baileyville by at least 5 percentage points. He will be serving in D.C. once again alongside Republican Susan Collins.

Referendum results

The question of whether Maine should offer a universal home healthcare system funded by a tax on households making more than $128,400 a year was soundly defeated. Question 1 ‘No’ votes amounted to 63 percent statewide. In Calais, ‘No’ votes were 54.4 percent; in Baileyville, 57.7 percent.

 

All four bonds on the ballot were approved by voters statewide. Question 2, the Wastewater Facility bond, was approved at 54.6 percent (voters in Calais supported it by 53.6 percent while Baileyville rejected it with a vote of 56 percent). Question 3 for Transportation Infrastructure was in favor statewide at 67.7 percent; Calais and Baileyville voted ‘Yes’ at 66.7 percent and 60.3 percent, respectively. Question 4, in support of Public Universities, won statewide at 54.1 percent. Calais narrowly favored it with 51.8 percent of the vote while Baileyville said ‘No’ with 53.6 percent of their votes. Question 5, in support of Community Colleges, soundly won in the state with 64.8 percent of the vote. Calais’s affection for its own local community college carried through with 68.8 percent in favor; Baileyville supported the measure with 60 percent in favor.