BATH — Sagadahoc County residents are gearing up for a special election to fill a state Seate seat left open by Seth Goodall’s resignation to lead the Small Business Administration in New England.

Three candidates are on Tuesday’s ballot in Senate District 19: Republican Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, Democrat Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic and Green Independent Daniel Stromgren of Topsham.

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Republicans hope Benoit, who lost the last election to Goodall by 162 votes, can help to close the gap in the Senate, where Democrats held 19 seats and Republicans 15 seats, with one independent.
The race has drawn heavy spending from outside groups.

Benoit, who previously held the seat, is a small business owner. Vitelli has worked for more than 30 years for Women, Work and Community, which aims to improving the standing of women in business. Stromberg is a social worker.

For Democrats, loss of the seat would give them the slimmest possible majority in the Senate.

Republicans, meanwhile, hope to generate some momentum in advance of the 2014 gubernatorial race.