Les Otten is conceding the Republican primary.

“I have just gotten off the phone with Paul LePage, and have given him my wholehearted support, in his run to be the next governor of Maine.”

Otten thanked his supporters and said Maine needs to return to prosperity.

“Second is great. We’d of course rather be first,” he said.

11:07 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND — Otten campaign manager Edie Smith urged supporters at the Sable Oaks Marriott to hang in there.

The numbers are still coming in frustratingly slow, she said.

“It’s still a fight between Otten and LePage,” Smith said. “LePage is definitely in the lead at this point.”

Otten has not made any statements to the crowd and has spent most of the evening outside the ballroom.

10:51 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND — Edie Smith, Les Otten’s campaign manager, just told the crowd at the Marriott at Sable Oaks they’ll need to be patient.

“The numbers are coming in horrendously slow,” she said. Staffers are now calling individual town clerks around the state to get some returns.

But she also has said at least some of the initial numbers look good, especially in Oxford County, Otten’s home base. Otten trounced the opposition in the towns of Paris and Norway, she said, getting a loud cheer

Rick and Elizabeth Bray of Brunswick are in the crowd of Otten supporters waiting for results at Sable Oaks. Their son, Matt, is on the campaign staff, although Rick Bray ended up playing a key volunteer himself during the race.

Rick Bray, a soon-to-be-retired technology education teacher at Yarmouth High School, was asked to build an Otten-for-Governor booth for the Maine Republican Convention in Portland. His creation was a wooden 10-foot-by-12-foot baseball dugout, which was painted green and stocked with peanuts and bubble gum. Otten and his daughter even got involved with decorations. 

“It was a huge hit,” Rick Bray said. “It ended up being the gathering place at the convention.”

Bray also ended up setting up signs and volunteering in other ways.

“I’d never really been involved with politics,” Rick Bray said. “It was fun and it was a good way to get connected up close to the campaign.”

Rick Bray said he’s happy to support both his son and his son’s boss. “I truly feel he (Otten) is the best candidate,” he said.

8:25 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND — Les Otten just arrived at the Sable Oaks Marriott and is greeting campaign volunteers and members of the media.

Otten’s campaign has decked out one of the large ballrooms in the upscale hotel, which sits about one mile from the Maine Mall.

The Republican entrepreneur said he’s been greeting voters and shaking hands all day, although he looks fresh and ready for a long night in a pressed navy suit and red tie.

“I’m a novice at this, but they tell me it will either be 8:30 (when the results are known) or 11 o’clock,” Otten said. “With seven candidates in the field, I’m guessing it’ll be 11 o’clock.”

Supporters have also begun to arrive and mingle among the white tablecloths and large screen televisions.

Campaign volunteers are gathered in a side rioom, each wearing a light green T-shirt with Otten in blue letters. Behind the stage and American flag is a giant blue banner that says “Otten ’10 Republican for Governor.”

The room also is decorated with photos of Otten on the campaign trail and other memorobilia, including a fake Fenway Park scoreboard showing an Otten victory and an alternative Maine Turnpike billboard that says, “Welcome to Maine, Open For Business.”

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