By Ramona du Houx
With primary results flooding in, it’s becoming clearer that the Maine State Senate has a good opportunity to take back the Senate this November. Strong Democratic nominees are now on the ticket to face Republican challengers. Presidential election years traditionally bring out more voters. And in Maine, more voters at the polls, more often than not, means Democratic victories.
“We’re proud of the many Democrats who stepped up to serve their communities by running for office this year. The level of interest in our caucus and primary process has driven Democratic voter registration over the last few months – with the number of new or updated Democratic registrations more than doubling those of Republicans,” said Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett. “We are excited to welcome these thousands of new Democrats to our party, and we look forward to our continued conversations in every corner of the state as we fight to ensure the voices of working Mainers are heard.”
Major results from the June 14, 2016 primary—
State Rep. Ben Chipman cruised to victory in the Democratic primary for Maine Senate District 27 in Portland, on June 14, 2016 against Dr. Charles Radis and Rep. Diane Russell, a fourth-term lawmaker. Russell’s eked out 23 percent in the Portland race.
Chipman will run in November against Republican Mark Lockman and the Green Independent Party’s Seth Baker.
In the five other Democratic primaries for the Maine Senate:
Rep. Mark Dion was leading with 51 percent of votes to Portland City Councilor Jill Duson’s 42 percent and former Rep. Ann Peoples of Westbrook with 6 percent in the race for the open seat in District 28.
Rep. Justin Chenette beat Rep. Barry Hobbins for the nomination to the seat to be vacated by Sen. Linda Valentino in District 31.
Surry nurse Moira O’Neill beat Former legislator Ted Koffman with 65 percent of the vote and will face Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth in November.
Shenna Bellows of Manchester declared victory over Gardiner City Councilor Terry Berry in Senate District 14 in southern Kennebec County, with 82 percent of votes. Sen. Earle McCormick, R-West Gardiner, is leaving the seat.
Sen. Susan Deschambault of Biddeford will beat former Mayor Joanne Twomey with 85 percent of votes in Senate District 32 in York County from Kennebunkport to Lyman. Deschambault will face Republican Steve Martin of Biddeford.