GOP gains two House seats in special elections

Republicans scored victories Tuesday in two special elections for open Maine House seats in the Sanford and Standish areas that were previously held by Democrats.

Democrats indicated they will call for a recount in one of the races.

House District 23 in the Standish area, which was formerly represented by Democratic Rep. Mike Shaw, was won by Republican Lester Ordway, an automotive technology instructor at Central Maine Community College, who earned nearly 41 percent of the vote. Ordway defeated Democrat Lynn Olson, who tallied 32 percent of the vote, independent Philip Pomerleau with 22 percent of the vote, Green Independent Michael Wakefield, with 5 percent of the vote and write-in Christopher N. Finley.

In House District 19 in the Sanford area, a seat which was left vacant by the death of Democratic Rep. William Noon, Republican Matthew Harrington narrowly defeated Democrat Jean Noon — who is William Noon’s widow — 48 percent to 45 percent. Independent Victor DiGregorio earned about 7 percent of the vote.

Tuesday’s elections make the balance of power in the House of Representatives a bit closer, at 78 Democrats, 69 Republicans and four independents.

House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said in a written statement late Tuesday that he expects a recount in the District 19 race, which Eves said was decided by 15 votes.

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.