Results tabulated, parties can move ahead on replacement candidates

The Maine Secretary of State’s office has a bit of good news for local party committees tasked with finding replacements for candidates who have withdrawn from their races: The results from the June 12 primary are tabulated.

Megan Sanborn, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office, said today that the primary results were delivered to the governor’s office — as required by state statute — this morning at 9:30.

The Secretary of State’s office said it had a harder time than normal this year hunting down election results from all of Maine’s municipalities. And that was complicating arrangements for a handful of local party committees that have to schedule nominating caucuses to replace candidates who withdrew after succeeding in the primary.

By law, the Secretary of State has 20 days to tabulate the results and submit them to the governor. “It usually takes longer than people would think,” Sanborn said.

And it was coming down to the wire this year. The 20-day timeline expired today.

In the Augusta area, both the Augusta City and the Kennebec County Republican committees initially scheduled nominating caucuses for last week and this week to select replacements, respectively, for House District 57 candidate Andrew Worcester and incumbent Sen. Earle McCormick from District 21.

Under Maine law, if a candidate withdraws after the primary, the local party committee can choose a replacement for the November ballot. But the committees need official notice from the Secretary of State that there’s a vacancy before they can nominate replacements, so the Kennebec County committees have delayed their caucuses until they receive official notice.

And there potentially could be dozens of party committees this month who need to schedule caucuses to choose replacement candidates. In 2002, for example, 48 candidates for the Maine House and seven state Senate candidates withdrew after the primary.

One of those committees in that situation this year is the Brunswick Democratic Town Committee, which will schedule a caucus to choose a replacement for Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx once it receives official notice that he’s withdrawn. Another is the Augusta Democratic Town Committee, which will select a replacement for Rep. Maeghan Maloney.

Now, it’s up to the governor to sign off on the results, a move that will allow the Secretary of State to issue those much-awaited, official vacancy notices.