Two years ago, Republicans won seven of the nine legislative seats that represent Lincoln County. Now, Democrats will hold five of the seats, with a sixth going to an independent.
While Republican Sen. Dana Dow and Reps. Dick Bradstreet and Jeff Hanley defended their seats, other local Republican incumbents fell as Lincoln County Democrats helped the party regain control of both legislative chambers. Democrats also won races for district attorney and county commissioner.
Dow will return for a second straight term, his fourth overall in the Senate and fifth overall as a state legislator, including one term in the House.
Dow defeated former Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman, D-Nobleboro, 10,262-9,783, according to unofficial results. The furniture store owner and former teacher collected 51.19 percent of the vote.
“I’d just like to thank the people of District 13 for putting their trust in me,” Dow said. “I plan to work just as hard as before.”
“I’m really proud of the race that we ran,” Fortman said. “I respect the fact that Dana was also very collegial.”
“It was a good race,” she said. “I think we stayed positive and focused and listened to constituents.”
Senate District 13 consists of all Lincoln County towns except Dresden, plus Washington and Windsor.
Final results for Senate District 23 were not available at press time. Bath did not report results due to technical difficulties, and Bowdoin did not report results.
With unofficial results from nine of 11 municipalities, Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, was in the lead over Richard Donaldson, R-Georgetown, 8,072-6,323.
Senate District 23 consists of Dresden and all of Sagadahoc County.
Allison Hepler, D-Woolwich, unseated Rep. Jeff Pierce, R-Dresden, by 71 votes, 2,566-2,495. House District 53 is Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, part of Richmond, and Woolwich.
Bradstreet, R-Vassalboro, won a second term in House District 80 over Stephen Ball, D-Windsor, 2,310-1,766. Bradstreet received 56.67 percent of the votes.
House District 80 is part of Augusta, Somerville, Vassalboro, and Windsor.
In House District 88, there was no incumbent in the race to succeed term-limited Rep. Deb Sanderson, R-Chelsea.
Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, defeated Michael Lemelin, R-Chelsea, 2,255-2,053, taking 52.34 percent of the vote.
“This campaign has always been about all of us and how we can do better together with kindness and respect for each other, and I’m looking forward to getting started,” said Maxmin, a recent college graduate.
“I’m excited to build new politics for House District 88, for everyone in this area,” she said. “This campaign has never been just about me.”
House District 88 is Chelsea, Jefferson, part of Nobleboro, and Whitefield.
Hanley, R-Pittston, will return for a third term in House District 87 after fending off a challenge from Jason Putnam, D-Wiscasset.
The count was 2,414-2,094, with 53.55 percent of the vote going to Hanley. House District 89 is Alna, Pittston, Randolph, and Wiscasset.
“I’m very happy to win. I put a lot of time into it,” Hanley said. “I thought I had pretty good support.”
Hanley said Putnam was a gracious opponent, calling him Tuesday morning with congratulations. Now, Hanley wants to go back to work to “enact good legislation and resist bad legislation,” he said.
Holly Stover, D-Boothbay, edged out two-term Rep. Stephanie Hawke, R-Boothbay Harbor, in House District 89. Stover won by 82 votes, 2,559-2,477. She captured 50.81 percent of the vote.
House District 89 consists of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb, part of South Bristol, Southport, and Westport Island.
Rep. Mick Devin, D-Newcastle, took 65.1 percent of the vote in House District 90 to win his fourth consecutive term over newcomer Richard Van Knowe, R-Bristol, 3,324-1,782.
Devin will begin his final term, as state law limits legislators to four consecutive terms in the House or Senate.
“I want to thank Richard for running a positive campaign and I want to thank my supporters and volunteers who helped me,” Devin said. “I’m very honored to be headed back to Augusta to represent the Pemaquid peninsula, Monhegan, and Loud’s Island.”
House District 90 is Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Monhegan, Newcastle, part of Nobleboro, and part of South Bristol.
After a term off, former two-term Rep. Jeff Evangelos, I-Friendship, will return to the House. Evangelos unseated incumbent Rep. Abden Simmons, R-Waldoboro, by 102 votes.
The final tally in House District 91 was 2,157-2,055. Evangelos had 51.21 percent of the vote.
“I want to thank the people of District 91 for their support. I look forward to returning to Augusta,” Evangelos said. “It was a close election and I wish my opponent the best.”
“I guess I’m back to work,” Simmons said. “I’m going to continue to be on the (Waldoboro) Select Board and will just be working more.”
“I thought I was at a pretty good spot, but it is what it is,” he said. “I think the fishing community in this area just took a big blow.”
House District 91 is Friendship, part of Union, Waldoboro, and Washington.
Waldoboro attorney Natasha Irving, a Democrat, defeated District Attorney Jonathan Liberman, R-West Bath, to win a four-year term as top prosecutor for Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo counties.
A final tally was not available, but Liberman said he conceded Tuesday morning.
“I do want to congratulate my opponent,” he said. “My staff and I will make sure there is a smooth transition of leadership at the DA’s office.”
He thanked his family and friends for their help with his campaign. “Their support has meant the world to me,” he said.
Liberman called serving as district attorney a great honor.
“We live in really divided times, but that should never distract us from the blessings in our lives,” he said.
Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Blodgett, D-Waldoboro, won a seventh consecutive four-year term over challenger Melvin Williams, R-Waldoboro, 3,701-2,255.
The longest-tenured office holder on the ballot took 62.14 percent of the vote.
Several candidates for county office did not have opponents.
Sheriff Todd Brackett, Register of Probate Catherine Moore, Treasurer Rick Newell, and Register of Deeds Rebecca Wotton won re-election to four-year terms.
(Jessica Clifford, J.W. Oliver, Jessica Picard, Alexander Violo, and Maia Zewert contributed reporting to this article.)