Alfond, Haskell re-elected to Portland state Senate seats

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PORTLAND — Two political veterans, state Sens. Justin Alfond and Anne Haskell, both Democrats, were returned to Augusta with wide support Tuesday.

Alfond, the reigning Senate president, won a fourth, two-year term with 11,345 votes and will serve in Maine Senate District 27 after defeating Green Independent Asher Platts, with 2,843, and Republican Peter Doyle, 2,605.

Haskell defeated Green Independent Owen Hill 11,928 to 4,179 in Senate District 28.

“This campaign has been about the big issues facing the state,” Alfond said as he promised to continue fighting for accessible health care and affordable housing and education.

Alfond added he would be “honored to return” as Senate president if the Democrats remain in the majority.

Haskell, who also served Gorham in the Legislature in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said she was ready to get back to work.

“I always look forward to a new session, there is plenty of work to be done and lots of issues,” she said.

Alfond and Haskell will serve in new districts created with data from the 2010 U.S. Census. Senate District 27 covers the city peninsula, Casco Bay islands and extends to the Deering neighborhoods. Senate District 28 covers the remainder of the city and a portion of Westbrook.

Platts, who lost to Alfond in 2012 by 12,672 to 5,185, said Tuesday he thought there was more recognition for his name and the Green Independent party this year.

“The whole time has been easier than it was two years ago,” he said. While unsure if what appeared to be a larger youth turnout would help him, he said voters had been able to see the Democrats were also beholden to corporate interests.

Haskell praised Hill, a political neophyte. She said they will continue to meet for coffee and talk about issues that were part of the campaign.

“That’s the way it ought to be in a race like that,” Haskell said.

Hill said he enjoyed the race and Election Day.

“I’m feeling great,” he said. “It has been really fun, the response has been great.”

Hill, who was a replacement candidate and maintained a full-time job, said his presence in the race was important.

“It is important to have working people run,” he said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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State Sen. Justin Alfond greets voters outside St. Pius Church on Ocean Avenue Tuesday night. Alfond won his fourth senate term and said he hopes to return as Senate president if Democrats hold a majority in the chamber.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.