Spiller, Lemont win Council seats
By Jesse Scardina
KITTERY — Both the Town Council and School Committee will have a new member, while incumbents on both boards also prevailed during Tuesday’s election.
For the Town Council, incumbent Judith Spiller and Kenneth Lemont were voted into the two open seats, with Lemont replacing incumbent Jeffery Brake. Lemont received 2,587 votes, Spiller received 2,123 and Brake received 1,353.
On the School Committee side, the race was a little tighter, with incumbent David Batchelder joining John Driscoll on the committee, beating out fellow candidate Rhonda Pomerleau. Driscoll received 1,824 votes, Batchelder received 1,793 and Pomerleau received 1,703.
“I voted for the two people I know personally, David Batchelder and John Driscoll,” said Colin Macomber, a senior at Traip Academy voting for his first time. “I know they’re good people and they have a vested interest in the school department.”
Of the roughly 7,100 registered voters in Kittery, nearly 4,000 votes were cast, a turnout of roughly 56 percent.
Rykerson, Beavers keep House seats
By Jesse Scardina
KITTERY — The incumbents were victorious in the two State House races, with Deane Rykerson and Roberta Beavers retaining their respective seats.
Rykerson will represent District 1 after defeating Republican Jeffrey Pelletier 2,116 votes to 1,411.
Beavers will represent District 2, which encompasses South Berwick, Eliot and a slice of Kittery after defeating Jon Moynahan 2,232 votes to 1,792.
All results are unofficial until the ballots are sent to the state.
Beavers defeated Moynahan in two of the three towns, with only Kittery voting in favor of the Republican challenger.
Rykerson, a Democratic incumbent, defeated Pelletier, who has held positions on Kittery’s town council and school board.
The vote for Kittery’s state representative was pretty split throughout the day, with voters showing support for both Rykerson and Pelletier.
“I saw some of the campaign flyers about Pelletier and I wasn’t impressed by it,” said Scott Estes, a Kittery resident.
Others disagreed and voted for Pelletier.
“Deane had a low roll-call percentage, not just in the first session, but the second one, too,” said Todd Sweet, a Kittery resident. “You can’t lead if you’re not there.”
Nearly 4,000 votes were cast of the roughly 7,100 registered voters, a turnout of roughly 56 percent of the voters.
Maine Gov. LePage declares re-election victory
By Staff and wire reports
PORTLAND, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage won a second term Tuesday, giving a victory speech at around 12:30 a.m., saying, “”Thank you, Maine, for trusting in our mission.”
Democrat Mike Michaud had earlier called LePage and then publicly conceded, telling supporters, “Tonight, the voters of Maine have spoken.”
LePage faced Michaud, a six-term Democratic congressman, and Independent attorney Eliot Cutler on Tuesday in a race dominated by debates on issues like health care and the economy.
The 65-year-old LePage focused his re-election bid on his efforts to improve the state’s business climate, trim taxes and overhaul welfare programs.
As LePage and Michaud remained neck-and-neck in the polls for months, observers believed the outcome would hinge on Cutler’s impact on the race.
Democrats had feared Cutler would siphon votes from Michaud to give LePage another four years in the Blaine House. Republicans embraced Cutler’s candidacy and even touted him in ads.
But Cutler’s poll numbers had dropped in recent days, with Cutler telling supporters last week to feel free to vote for another candidate if they believed he couldn’t win.
Cutler conceded early, telling supporters, “Running for office is a privilege, but nowhere is it more of a privilege than here in Maine” before calling it a night around 10 p.m.
While polls showed Cutler finishing a distant third, some local voters said he had their votes.
“I’ve never had a poll dictate the way I vote,” said Todd Sweet of Kittery. “I’ve never had someone tell me which way to vote. I take my vote seriously and vote with my conscience and for the best person for the job. Eliot Cutler demonstrated a plan and a way to pay for his plan. He had a vision for the state. He hasn’t flip-flopped on issues like Michaud has. I couldn’t in good faith vote for someone like that.”
Other voters, though, said Tuesday they switched their votes after Cutler’s speech last week, telling his supporters they could take their votes elsewhere if they felt he couldn’t win.
“I wanted to vote for Cutler. I believe he is the best candidate,” said Janet O’Neil or York. “It’s very hard for me to vote for someone else,” but she did, though she declined to say for whom.
Local voters, too, were divided in their support of Michaud and LePage.
“Michaud is the only one of the three who is willing to get things done,” said Rozanna Patane of York. “He is also committed to a clean-energy future for Maine, and I think that’s needed.”
Barbara Curtis of York Beach voted for LePage.
“I like his no-holds-barred attitude,” she said. “It’s like me. And I trust him.”
Cutler, whom many voters viewed as a spoiler in the race who could help LePage win another term, thanked his supporters for their “courage” in following their conscience “and not yielding to polls, pundits, parties and PACs who tried to frighten” them into voting for someone else.
“Our supporters cast a vote that said that the only spoilers in politics today are the critics who divide us and pull us apart,” Cutler said.
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said the polls seemed as crowded Tuesday morning as they would during a presidential election year even though thousands of residents remained in the dark after a powerful weekend snowstorm.
Statewide turnout could be as high as 60 percent of eligible voters, Dunlap said.