CAPE ELIZABETH — Former School Board member Rebecca Millett defeated Michael Wallace by a 2-1 margin in the state Senate District 7 election on Tuesday.
Democrat Millett easily defeated her Republican opponent, 12,606 to 6,751, for the seat that represents Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and a portion of Scarborough.
“I’m thrilled to be elected as the District 7 senator,” Millett said. “It’s just been really a wonderful experience meeting all those people I met during my campaign and having fabulous conversations. Everyone’s so warm and welcoming and willing to share thoughts about our district and Maine.”
The difference for her campaign, she said, was that voters wanted someone that would reject Gov. Paul LePage’s agenda.
“I think from my conversations with people, they were very concerned with some of the extreme policies of LePage and his administration,” she said. “They wanted to elect someone who will ask tough questions and make sure whatever Augusta does, it will be in the interests of citizens and not some extreme ideology.”
Millett said her first focus in office will be on the economy.
“I think the economy is slowly improving, but I would love to find a way to continue to help Maine’s economy improve; I know we’ve been lagging behind some of the other Northeastern states,” she said, noting that she would like to see voter approved bonds withheld by the LePage administration issued. “I think they will infuse some much needed job growth into Maine’s economy.”
Millett is the third senator for the district in two years. State Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, won a special election in the district in May, vacated the seat mid-term to run for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe’s open seat, and eventually lost that election to former Gov. Angus King Tuesday night.
South Portland resident Wallace, a Ron Paul delegate at the Republican National Convention, said he decided early not to fixate on the results of the election and to focus on running the campaign.
“I’m really appreciative to get the opportunity to run,” he said. “The Republican party in South Portland has been a real asset, supporting a candidate like me who is liberal on social issues, but conservative on the economy.”
His loss reflects the sentiment of the state and the nation, Wallace said.
“The Republican party chose to hitch itself to social issues, not the economy, and didn’t do as much as they could have,” he said, noting that Republicans across the country did not appeal to people emotionally. “The Republicans chose a generic set of candidates. We need candidates who have stories, even if they’re personal ones, that they can share. Candidates need to be comfortable talking about things they struggle with.”