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These key Maine legislative races will decide State House power until 2020 — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

These key Maine legislative races will decide State House power until 2020 — Daily Brief — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Micky Bedell | BDN

Micky Bedell | BDN

House Majority Chief Erin Herbig (left), D-Belfast, talks with Assistant Majority Chief Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, on the State House in Augusta, Dec. 7, 2016.

By Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
November 5, 2018 9:48 am

Up to date: November 5, 2018 10:35 am

Good morning from Augusta. Maine’s legislative races have been overshadowed by the hyper-competitive elections for the 2nd Congressional District and an open governor’s seat, however they might convey a few of closest contests of the cycle with slender divisions within the chambers now.

We advised you final week that Democrats have been outspending Republicans by historic margins within the 2018 legislative races, nevertheless it’s onerous to inform precisely what meaning with the Republicans controlling the Senate by only one seat and Democrats holding a three-seat edge within the House.

In October, Governing rated legislative chambers throughout the nation and gave toss-up and lean Democratic scores to the Maine Senate and House, respectively. That’s about the place we might land at the moment, however it’s based mostly on a 40,000-foot look that doesn’t seize the nuance in these races.

The seats that would decide management of the chambers fall into three most important classes. Let’s take a fast Election Day eve take a look at examples of these districts, although there are all the time outliers.

A lot of probably the most hotly contested seats in 2018 are perennially aggressive, intently divided by social gathering or each. Whatever the election yr, the Maine Legislature has plenty of swing seats that draw excessive ranges of curiosity from each events however may also keep in an excellent candidate’s palms for some time even when the district’s celebration affiliation is slender or runs barely towards them.

— Senate District 20: The open-seat race between Assistant House Minority Chief Ellie Espling, R-New Gloucester, and doctor Ned Claxton, a Democrat from Auburn, is the costliest race within the Legislature this yr, seeing $442,000 in marketing campaign and out of doors spending. Democrats are liable for most of it in a singular district the place they’ve a slender edge by registration, however the place outgoing Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, gained simply in 2016.

— Senate District 11: Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, gained shut races in 2014 and 2016 and Democrats are all in on changing him with House Majority Chief Erin Herbig, D-Belfast. Republicans have a superb candidate in former Rep. Jayne Crosby Giles of Belfast, however Herbig will make it robust for them to carry the seat this yr.

— Senate District 16: Democrats have run onerous twice towards Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, in a Waterville-area district leaning their method by 10 proportion factors, however the retired deputy sheriff is well-liked within the rural elements of the district and gained by eight factors in 2016. Democrats have dumped in $182,000 to spice up former Rep. Karen Kusiak, D-Fairfield, in her problem, however the incumbent in all probability has an edge right here.

— House District 128: Former Rep. Archie Verow, D-Brewer, gained by 96 votes in 2014 and misplaced to Republican Garrel Craig by 55 votes in 2016. Now, the 2 are operating towards one another once more in a district that leans Republican by six factors, however has been some extent of emphasis for Democratic organizers in 2018. Anticipate one other tight one right here.

Democrats are concentrating on plenty of seats within the southern Maine suburbs. One of many keys to Republican success in legislative races in the course of the period of Gov. Paul LePage has been focused wins in Cumberland and York counties. However a few of these Republican winners are term-limited in 2018 and Democrats need their seats, together with in locations the place President Donald Trump is unpopular.

— House District 9: This Kennebunk-area district has appeared prefer it ought to go blue for some time, with Democrats holding a nine-point benefit over Republicans there now and Trump dropping it by almost 20 factors in 2016, but Rep. Stedman Seavey, R-Kennebunkport, held onto it in shut 2014 and 2016 races with Democrat Diane Denk of Kennebunk. She’s operating towards Seavey’s brother, Roger Seavey of Kennebunkport, this yr.

— Senate District 34: This southern Maine race between Rep. Bob Foley, R-Wells, and former Rep. Tom Wright, D-Berwick, might be a sleeper pick-up probability for Democrats. The district has been lengthy held by Republicans, however it leans barely their means by celebration registration and Trump misplaced it by a slight margin in 2016, based on knowledge stored by Daily Kos, a liberal weblog.

— House District 5: This district — held by Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick — was a Trump-majority outpost in 2016. However she misplaced the seat within the Democratic yr of 2012 earlier than profitable it again and holding it in considerably slender 2014 and 2016 elections. Democrat Charles Galemmo of North Berwick and unbiased Noah Cobb of Berwick are taking her on in 2018.

Democrats are nonetheless making big-time defensive efforts in sure rural districts. Republicans have gained floor in a lot of rural Maine over the past six years.  They’re forcing Democrats to play protection in a few of these areas this yr and these are ones the place Democrats’ degree of spending signifies that they’re frightened.

— Senate District 14: Democrats have dumped in $213,000 to defend Sen. Shenna Bellows of Manchester towards Republican Matt Stone, who was an also-ran in a Biddeford-area Maine State race in 2016 earlier than shifting to West Gardiner. Bellows, a reliably liberal senator, wrested the seat from an extended interval of Republican management in a three-way 2016 race. Stone has gotten excessive marks from Republicans for his work within the race, although he advised “rehab boot camps” for individuals hooked on opioids in an interview with a far-right radio present.

— Senate District 2: This closely Republican district, which Trump gained with 61 %, shouldn’t be represented by a Democrat, however former Lawyer Common Mike Carpenter of Houlton beat a flawed Republican opponent narrowly in 2016. Republican Karen Reynolds of Fort Fairfield is dealing with him now and this district might be the perfect probability for a Republican pick-up within the Senate this yr.

— House District 55: Former House Majority Chief Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, was term-limited in 2014 and took again his seat from a Republican incumbent in 2016, when Trump additionally gained a majority there. His re-election battle with Republican Man Lebida of Bowdoin is now the costliest House race with marketing campaign and out of doors spending mixed.


Make amends for elections with the BDN

The stumping will be over quickly, then it will be time to rely ballots. Polls throughout Maine will shut at eight p.m. Tuesday. Outcomes from native precincts will start to reach quickly thereafter. For these of you holding rating at residence or assembling a ballot warden fantasy group, Masardis has a strong document of being the primary group to report outcomes to the BDN’s crack vote tabulation group. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is anticipating 65 % turnout, which is heavy.

To see these outcomes roll in, click on right here. Outcomes for every part from the U.S. Senate race to native referendums will be displayed. Right here is your soundtrack.

For an summary of the voting course of and what you will discover on Tuesday’s poll, click on right here. To check your information of Maine election trivia — and perhaps win one thing — click on right here.

To examine how the candidates for Maine Senate stand on key points, click on right here. For Maine House candidates’ responses to the identical questions, click on right here. And to trace all the cash outdoors teams are spending to affect this yr’s Maine elections, click on right here.


Studying record

— The candidates in Maine’s two hottest elections are making their remaining pitches to voters. Outdoors a paper mill, at hunters breakfasts and craft festivals, candidates for the Blaine House and in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District spent the weekend stumping for votes. Maine’s largest races are high-stakes and deeply unsure. Current polls have seen Democrat Jared Golden and incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin nearly tied within the 2nd District, the place President Donald Trump gained a historic cut up of Maine within the 2016 election. The hole within the race to switch Gov. Paul LePage between Democrat Janet Mills and Republican Shawn Moody has been exhausting to gauge, however is slender by all indications. These candidates — and unbiased Terry Hayes — made the rounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday looking for late-deciding voters who might swing the shut and intently watched races.

— A program in Rockland helps males who overcame habit behind bars keep sober. The Pal’s House, which opened in July, is run by the Midcoast Restoration Coalition and goals to assist males who’re struggling, or who’ve struggled, with substance use dysfunction have a protected and drug-free surroundings. It supplies short-term housing and help to males simply launched from jail or who’re in transition to the surface world. This system at present has the capability to serve 4 males at a time, however its leaders hope to broaden to 12 slots.

— Excessive winds blacked out greater than 100,000 Mainers at one time or one other in the course of the weekend. Crews from Central Maine Power and Emera spent Saturday and Sunday restoring power all through the state. Coastal and western mountain counties felt the brunt of the injury. Right here is your soundtrack.


What a Man

As People attend to last-minute marketing campaign duties on the eve of an election, individuals everywhere in the English countryside are burning effigies of an unpopular political determine. It’s Man Fawkes Day in Previous Blighty. What higher solution to have fun a failed home terrorist than with bonfires and pyrotechnics.

In 1605, Fawkes — a Roman Catholic Yorkshireman impressed by that faith’s leaders on the European mainland — participated in a horribly botched try and blow up King James I and Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. Sir Thomas Knyvett, a minor however reliable royal official, found the gunpowder, foiling the plot. Fawkes was tortured, serving to result in the apprehension of different co-conspirators.

Fawkes thwarted the executioner’s plans to hold, draw and quarter him by tumbling off the gallows, breaking his neck. However that didn’t cease the Brits from slicing up his corpse and distributing the items to “the four corners of the kingdom.” That they had a wierd penchant for disemboweling dissidents, together with those that had already been buried, as was the case with Oliver Cromwell.

When the Gunpowder Plot fizzled on Nov. 5, 1605, individuals all through England supposedly lit bonfires to burn effigies of Fawkes and different Catholics and to rejoice over the king’s security. They’ve been doing so ever since, including fireworks — which could possibly be interpreted as a contact of signature British irony or a spot of much more signature British “in your face” smugness.

In any case, it’s one more reason to be glad that the American colonists pulled off a extra profitable rebellion so we will mild off fireworks to have fun independence — not a tortured terrorist. Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Lengthy

At this time’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. In the event you’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.

To succeed in us, don’t reply on to this text, however e-mail us immediately at aacquisto@bangordailynews.com, mshepherd@bangordailynews.com or rlong@bangordailynews.com.