REDISTRICTING AFFECTS LEGISLATIVE RACES - THE CROWDED TICKETS GIVE BOTH PARTIES HOPE FOR NOVEMBER

Portland Press Herald (ME) - Wednesday, June 15, 1994
Author: Associated Press
Democratic state Sen. Georgette Berube of Lewiston defeated fellow Sen. James Handy Tuesday in one of several legislative primary races that spared some sitting lawmakers and sent others to defeat. 

In a race created by legislative redistricting, Berube had 64 percent of the vote with 83 percent of the precincts counted. 

Among the most closely watched Senate primaries were those for the Biddeford-area seat, which is being vacated due to Senate President Dennis Dutremble's congressional run. 

In the only Republican Senate primary in that district, a businessman, W. John Hathaway of Kennebunkport, was soundly defeating retired Army Gen. Wallace H. Nutting of Biddeford, who was acquitted last July of conspiring to defraud the military in the Sooner Defense trial. Hathaway had 71 percent of the vote with nine of 10 precincts reporting. 

Rep. Charles G. Plourde of Biddeford had 57 percent of the vote in his Democratic contest against Gary A. Plamondon with 90 percent of the vote in. The Plourde-Plamondon race was one of the 11 contested Senate Democratic primaries. 

In a Bangor-area Democratic primary, Rep. Sean Faircloth beat Rep. Mary Sullivan in their contest for a Senate nomination by about 2-1. 

In House districts, Democratic Majority Whip Patrick Paradis of Augusta eked out a 16-vote win over a former state employee, Lucille Cloutier, according to unofficial figures compiled by party officials. 

In Auburn, veteran Rep. Constance Cote defeated Democratic rival Thomas C. Dow Sr., claiming 68 percent of the total vote. 

Primaries also brought forth some former state officials and lawmakers seeking legislative seats. 

Former Business Regulation Commissioner Harvey DeVane lost a bid to oust incumbent Rep. Sharon Treat of Gardiner in a battle for a Democratic House nomination. With all precincts reporting, Treat had 68 percent of the vote. 

Former state prison warden Paul Vestal of Plymouth lost an early lead and Robert Yackobitz claimed a three-way contest for a GOP House nomination with 43 percent of the vote. 

In Brunswick, former Rep. Charles Priest of Brunswick was losing a bid for a Democratic primary nod to Thomas Davidson, who had 62 percent of the vote with four of five precincts counted. 

Republicans are looking ahead to November with hopes of capturing control of the 35-member Senate for the first time since 1982. Leaders said it was the first time in at least 25 years the GOP has fielded candidates in every Senate district. The Democrats currently have a 20-15 majority. 

But a Democratic Senate leader said Tuesday the field of candidates on primary ballots made him optimistic about his party's prospects in November. 

``I'm really impressed with the strength of candidates we have in the primaries,'' said Majority Leader Donald Esty. ``Any one of our primary victors will be strong challengers for the Republicans in November.'' 

There were no serious predictions from either party of a Republican takeover in the House, which now has 91 Democrats, 58 Republicans and two independents.


TOP