Poppy Arford Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — Democrat Poppy Arford narrowly defeated Green Independent candidate Fred Horch on Tuesday in the race to represent Brunswick in the Maine State House of Representatives District 49 seat. 

Unofficial results Tuesday night showed Arford with 3,275 votes to Horch’s 3,054. 

Arford will take the seat being vacated by Mattie Daughtry, who ran successfully to fill Sen. Brownie Carson’s shoes in the State Senate representing District 24. 

Arford said Tuesday’s race was a “nail biter.” The whole election was tough, she said, from a three-way primary that was decided by ranked-choice voting after a week of waiting to Tuesday’s contest without a republican on the ballot and an opponent who also had a great deal of community support. 

“I still can’t quite believe I won,” she said, adding that it was “an incredibly rewarding experience.” 

“I’ve been given this incredible opportunity to do some good in the world,” she said, adding she would do her best to represent District 49.

Arford’s  goal is “universal, publicly funded, high-quality health care for everybody.”

She said previously that her goals have not changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that she recognizes there are more immediate needs to tackle.

“Managing COVID-19 and its impact on the people (in Maine) is our priority,” she said, as is ensuring the health not just of physical bodies, but of the economy, the environment and community spirit.

“That has to come first,” she said, but “the big downstream vision” for an improved healthcare system is “not going away.” 

Other priorities include education, affordable housing and climate change. 

Arford acknowledged that she had “an excellent opponent” in Horch, and said she would “welcome him to the table” concerning any future matters.

“He has so much to contribute to the community,” she said. 

Horch’s campaign focused largely on climate and energy matters. 

In a statement on his campaign Facebook page, he congratulated the Democrats on their victory and said he will “pray that they will make wise decisions as they continue to govern Maine… Let’s keep working together for a better future.”

He is the owner of Spark Applied Efficiency, a company that helps local businesses and organizations be more efficient and conserve resources to lower energy prices, and formerly ran F. W. Horch Sustainable Goods and Supplies on Maine Street. 

He ran unsuccessfully for the Maine House of Representatives in 2010 and 2012, and then for state senate in 2014.

Republican Carole Graves ran uncontested for her party’s nomination in July, but after little campaign activity, her name did not appear on the November ballot. 

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