Everybody knew the Maine House legislative race between Holly Stover and Stephanie Hawke would be close. And it was. Democrat Holly Stover won a narrow victory in District 89, 2,559 to 2,447. Hawke won three of four Boothbay peninsula towns. Hawke won Boothbay, Southport and Boothbay Harbor by a combined 37 votes. Stover won Edgecomb by 27 votes, but South Bristol’s vote of Stover 256, Hawke 172 put the challenger.
The race pitted two well-known Boothbay Harbor candidates which made for a difficult decision for voters. “Everybody knows them and likes them. So any other year you could vote for either one easily, but running in the same race makes for a tough choice,” said Nick Mirabile of Boothbay.
The Maine District 13 senate race pitted incumbent Dana Dow, a Waldoboro Republican, against Democrat challenger Laura Fortman of Nobleboro. Fortman won three of four Boothbay peninsula towns (Edgecomb, Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor). Dow won Southport.
Voter turnout was high statewide as well as on the Boothbay peninsula. Stephen Moore voted in Edgecomb, and later dropped off an absentee ballot in Boothbay for a relative. Moore votes each election and said immigration, the economy and President Trump were factors in his vote. “This is an important election because it’s socialism versus the Constitution,” he said. “I think the election has a lot to do with Trump. He’s the top dog and he’s doing a great job.”
But Boothbay Harbor voter Ellen Williams disagreed. She supported Question 1 which asked voters to enact a 3.8 percent tax on income above $128,400 in 2018 for a Universal Home Care program for seniors and people with disabilities. Her major election issue was health care and she didn’t mince her words about the president.
“Trump no way. He’s arrogant, ignorant and mouthy. I can’t stand him,” she said.
For Williams and other Maine voters, it was the first time using Rank Choice Voting in a general election. But the new method didn’t phase her. “I just voted for one. I knew who I wanted to vote for before I came and stuck to that,” Williams said.
A new Boothbay resident had his first chance to vote in a Maine election. Guy Cassels taught fourth grade in Georgia before moving this August to Boothbay. He is currently substitute teaching and looking for a full-time teaching job. His major election issue was also health care. When he moved to Maine, his health insurance premiums went from $800 to $1,500 a month. And despite living in Maine for a short time, Cassels has a definite opinion about Maine’s junior U.S. Sen. Angus King. “He says he’s an independent, but he’s no independent,” he said. “I split my ticket, but the King-Brakey race is the one I’m most interested in.”
Cassels has a mixed opinion about President Trump. “I can’t say I have a favorable or unfavorable opinion about him, but you deny with what he’s done with the economy by cutting taxes and regulations,” he said.
At press time, the District 10 Senate and District 6 District Attorney race between Republican Jon Liberman and Democrat Natasha Irving were both too close to call.