ELLSWORTH — Tuesday’s election ushered in a few new but mostly familiar faces to the Maine State House. This held true in local districts with incumbents seeking re-election.
The 132nd District race to represent Ellsworth and Trenton returned one-term Democratic incumbent Nicole Grohoski to the House, after she won 55 percent of the votes cast, 3,061, in defeating Republican challenger Michelle Kaplan, who received 45 percent, or 2,497. Grohoksi swept both towns, winning 2,521 to 2,076 in Ellsworth and 540-421 in Trenton.
In her first two years in Augusta, Grohoski, a GIS specialist and cartographer, served on committees writing bills to protect firefighters and EMS responders from workplace discrimination, limit single-use plastic bags at stores and preserve internet access. She also supported policies addressing affordable health care, stabilizing property tax rates and combating the opioid crisis, in addition to helping negotiate clean energy policies. She is a member of the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and served on a commission to study energy storage options for Maine. The American was unable to reach Grohoksi for comment by press time.
In the 130th District, representing Bucksport and Orrington, a race between Republican Kathy Downes and Democrat Nicolas Delli Paoli ended with Downes securing the seat 1,843 to 948. Downes, a Bucksport town councilor and former town clerk, will be a new face when the 130th Legislature convenes in December.
Republican incumbent Sherman “Sherm” Hutchins easily won re-election to represent the 131st District over Democrat Veronica Garvey Magnan, a former state representative, 3,267 to 2,292. Hutchins also won in his home town of Penobscot, 435-390, something he failed to do in 2018. District 131 represents Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot and Verona Island in Hancock County and Prospect and Stockton Springs in Waldo County.
Hutchins said being an incumbent helped, especially during COVID-19, when knocking on doors wasn’t as feasible.
“I think that’s one of the things that made this race a little different than normal,” he said. “But also, what we’re trying to get is more say into what we’re doing about opening up businesses and such rings true a little bit. I think people are quite frustrated … People deserve to have their representatives at least help make those choices.”
Uncontested elections for districts 133 and 134 returned first-term Democratic incumbents Sarah Pebworth and Genevieve McDonald to the Legislature. Pebworth, representing most of the Blue Hill Peninsula in District 133, received 4,442 votes, while McDonald, representing Deer Isle and Stonington, Tremont, Southwest Harbor, Frenchboro and a handful of nearby islands in District 134, received 4,343 votes.
Democrat Lynne Williams won District 135, representing Bar Harbor, Lamoine and Mount Desert with 3,339 votes over Republican challenger Timothy Oh and Green Independent Party candidate Benjamin Meiklejohn, who received 1,835 and 805 votes, respectively.
Williams, an attorney, said Wednesday, “I want people to know that I will always be accessible. I will be open to comments and criticism and I will take it all to heart.”
Republican incumbent William “Billy Bob” Faulkingham won District 136 over Democrat Antonio Blasi by a margin of 3,151 to 1,765 votes. District 136 includes Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham and the unorganized territories of East Hancock and Fletchers Landing Township.
In District 137, representing Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Franklin and Great Pond plus six towns in Penobscot County, four in Washington County and unorganized territories, Meldon “Micky” Carmichael defeated attorney Maxwell Coolidge, 2,048 to 1,243.