Sanford Democrat requests recount in special House election

Tuesday’s special election for the Sanford-area District 19 House of Representatives seat isn’t over yet. Democratic candidate Jean Noon, who is vying to fill the seat in place of her late husband, William Noon, has requested a recount of ballots in the race. William Noon died in July after a long battle with cancer.

The election was close. According to unofficial results (they aren’t official until the secretary of state’s office certifies them) Republican Matthew Harrington won by 14 votes. Harrington tallied 768 votes compared to 754 for Noon and 110 for independent Victor DiGregorio.

A spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office said the recount will happen sometime next week.

The Maine Democratic Party claims there were “voting irregularities” at the Nasson Community Center, which is one of two polling locations in the district, but didn’t detail what they were.

Sound familiar? Last year, it took more than a month of political jockeying and eventually, a dramatic investigation by a Senate committee that found 21 “phantom ballots,” to decide that Democrat Catherine Breen had won the Falmouth-area Senate seat.

“With only a 14-vote margin, I think it’s important to recount the ballots to make sure every vote is counted properly,” said Noon in a written statement. — Christopher Cousins

Maine joins effort to defend EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Attorney General Janet Mills announced Wednesday that her office is joining 25 other states, counties and cities to fight the West Virginia-led court fight against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a set of rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

The plan’s goal is to reduce emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030, giving states the flexibility to adopt plans to meet their unique target figures.

What’s shaping up is a battle between states in the South and Midwest that are more reliant on coal-fired power and states that aren’t. Maine has joined states including New York and California in court, while Texas, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and other states have joined West Virginia.

In a statement, Mills said Mainers “bear the burden of dirty power plants to the west.”

“The EPA needs to take steps to protect the health of Maine people and our environment by adopting the Clean Power Plan.” — Michael Shepherd

Cain picks up labor endorsements

Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidate Emily Cain announced two endorsements from local union members on Thursday.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Lewiston local and the Association of Postal Workers Union in Augusta is backing her in her campaign against Joe Baldacci for the party’s nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who beat Cain in 2014.

The early support from labor is no surprise for a Democrat, but it’s good news for Cain’s primary campaign to this point. By this time in 2013, labor groups had already rallied around Troy Jackson, who was Cain’s primary opponent. — Michael Shepherd

Reading list

Whither spooning?

Yesterday’s best hate read may have come courtesy of Slate, in the form of a piece against spooning while sleeping. If you don’t know what spooning is, you’re in luck.

“For the uninitiated, spooning is meant to position you and your partner like two spoons stacked in a drawer (though on their sides), the contours of one body inclining organically into the other.”

Writer J. Bryan Lowder’s argument is that it becomes uncomfortable after 10 minutes and it should go away.

“The more I reflect on spooning during my sojourn, the more I have come to see it as a terrible idea, one that’s fraught both physically and ideologically. My plea? Suspend spooning—indefinitely.”

A domestic policy argument you probably didn’t think you’d see in the Daily Brief. — Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.