WINDHAM — Independent challenger Susan Witonis defeated incumbent Cumberland County Commissioner Malory Shaughnessy, a Democrat, for the District 3 county commissioner seat.

Results from Brunswick, Harpswell, North Yarmouth, Pownal, New Gloucester, Freeport, Windham, Sebago, Casco, Naples, Harrison, Bridgton, Baldwin, Raymond and Gray show Casco resident Witonis edging out Shaughnessy, of Windham, 19,346 to 17,958.

“I was very pleased with the results,” Witonis said Thursday morning. “And congratulations to Malory for a good race. I want to thank everyone who voted for me and I appreciate their support. I’m honored to service the citizens of Cumberland County and look forward to servicing them as a County Commissioner.” 

Witonis pointed to public safety and equal representation of rural counties as the reason she decided to run for county commissioner this year. She said she plans to ensure rural towns have adequate public safety coverage.

“It’s a lot of people to represent, 15 towns,” Witonis said. “It’s hard to get out there and be effective. Within this 15 town area, people in Harpswell do not have the same needs as Harrision or Baldwin.”

The first charter for Cumberland County was also approved Tuesday and will increase the number of commissioners from three to five. Witonis said the increase in representation will decrease the number of people each commissioner represents by tens of thousands.

“I support the charter and the increase from three to five [commissioners] will be beneficial,” she said.

Witonis said there has not been a decision made about how commissioners will be delgated within District 3 following election of two additional commissioners. The election is expected to take place in 2011, she said.

“I don’t even think they know at this point,” Witonis said of dividing responsibilities throughout the county between commissioners. “I’m interested to see how they divide it.”

Witonis previously served as a selectman in Casco from 2006 to 2010 and was a member of the county Budget Advisory Committee. Witonis graduated from Windham High School and has lived in Casco for 23 years.

Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]

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