Politics

November 14, 2012

Two Maine Republicans keep seats after recounts

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH – In what was considered a battleground race for control of the Maine Legislature, a Republican incumbent has retained her seat in the House.

Secretary of State Charles E. Summers announced Wednesday night that Republican Amy F. Volk of Scarborough will keep her House District 127 seat.

A recount held Wednesday in Augusta showed that Volk defeated her Democratic challenger, Paul Aranson, by 12 votes -- the final tally was 2,728 to 2,716.

In 2010, about $2,000 was spent on the race for House District 127, when Volk defeated Democrat Sean Flaherty. But in 2012 outside groups spent more than $27,000 on the race between Volk and Aranson, a former Cumberland County district attorney.

Summers on Wednesday also announced the results from a second recount in which Rep. Melvin Newendyke, R-Litchfield, retained his House District 80 seat in a three-hour ballot recount. In the end, four votes made the difference.

The final tally of ballots cast Nov. 6 in Litchfield, Monmouth and Wales showed Newendyke with 2,459 votes and Democratic challenger Rachel Sukeforth with 2,455 votes.

The recount by the Secretary of State's Office was finished in time for Newendyke, 70, to take his place at the 1 p.m. Republican legislative caucus at the State House.

Fresh from her first campaign, Sukeforth, 24, said she plans to run again.

The two were neck-and-neck in Litchfield, where they both live. Newendyke had 924 votes to Sukeforth's 922, according to the final tallies. Wales voters favored Newendyke by 91 votes, while Monmouth favored Sukeforth by 85 votes.

Summers said there are 12 candidate recounts pending.

Despite these Republican victories, Democrats will still control of both houses of the Maine Legislature, which they wrested control of in last week's election.

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