PORTLAND — City voters elected a pair of political newcomers to the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, along with a former legislator and five incumbents.
In perhaps the most closely watched race, incumbent Rep. Benjamin Chipman, U-Portland, received 1,884 votes in District 119 to defeat Democrat Herbert Adams, who was the district’s previous representative, and Republican Gwen Tuttle. Adams and Tuttle received 1,272 and 317 votes respectively.
District 119 is one of the geographically smallest House districts, covering Portland’s Bayside, East Bayside and Parkside neighborhoods.
Chipman, 37, is a self-employed public policy advocate who once worked as a legislative aide to former Rep. Jon Eder.
“I accomplished a lot in my first term, and I think my constituents have been happy with the job I’ve done,” he said. “I guess they figured, if (something) isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
“I’m grateful for all their support, and now it’s time to get back to work, starting tomorrow.”
First-term Incumbent Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, defeated Republican Jeffrey Langholtz 3,467 to 1,676 in District 113, which covers North Deering and part of Falmouth.
Dion, 57, is an attorney who served for 12 years as the Cumberland County sheriff and was also a deputy chief of the Portland Police Department.
“I think my voting record has shown that I will work in the interest of Falmouth and Portland,” he said after learning of the results.
In District 114, two-term incumbent Rep. Peter Stuckey, D-Portland, won re-election against Republican Eric Bleicken, 3,617 to 1,126. The district includes includes East Deering, the east side of Washington Avenue to Falmouth, and the islands.
Stuckey, 65, has focused much of his legislative work on issues related to children’s health, education and the environment. Before seeking office, he worked as director of the Children’s Nature & Science Center and East End Children’s Workshop, and as a director at the People’s Regional Opportunity Program.
“I’m thankful I live in a district where I agree with so many of my neighbors,” he said Tuesday night. “I’m humbled and honored to get the job of representing them again.”
Democrat Erik Jorgensen topped Green Independent Seth Berner, 2,824 to 1,400, in the District 115 race. District 115 covers the Back Cove neighborhood.
The two were vying to replace Rep. Stephen Lovejoy, D-Portland, who did not seek re-election.
The House seat is the first elected office for Jorgensen, 47. He has worked in nonprofit organization management for more than 20 years and recently served as executive director of the Maine Humanities Council.
“I had a worthy opponent, but I guess my knocking on a lot of doors, and being somewhat known, really paid off,” he said. “I feel I was part of something bigger than my race today. I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve (the district) at a historic moment.”
In the uncontested race for the District 116 seat, incumbent Rep. Denise Harlow, D-Portland, won re-election with 3,229 votes. Harlow, 42, is a track coach and pet sitter who also is the daughter of the district’s longtime former representative, Charlie Harlow.
District 116 encompasses Riverton, the Riverside and Warren Avenue areas, and Nason’s Corner.
In District 117, Democrat Richard Farnsworth defeated Republican Frederic Miller, 3,802 to 1,099. Farnsworth, 71, will fill the seat now held by Rep. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, who chose not to run for re-election in order to make a bid for the state Senate.
District 117 covers parts of Deering as well as the Libbytown, Rosemont and Stroudwater neighborhoods.
Farnsworth is the former executive director of Woodfoods Family Services. He also served a term in the House during the 1990s, and said his previous experience taught him the value of personal contact with voters.
“You don’t win elections with election ‘science,’ you win them by going door to door,” he said. “But the large margins of my race took me by surprise, especially because Mr. Miller did make a significant effort.
“I’m humbly grateful for the turnout in my district and the confidence people have shown in me.”
Democrat Matthew Moonen collected 2,633 votes to win election in the three-way race to represent House District 118. Green Independent Thomas MacMillan received 1,241, and Republican Kevin Casey picked up 655.
District 118 includes Portland’s West End and Libbytown, and is widely considered one of the most liberal districts in the state.
The three first-time candidates were competing to replace incumbent Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland. Hinck chose not to seek re-election and made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination to replace U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.
Moonen, 28, is a former political director for EqualityMaine and was an activist with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections.
“With three candidates who all are so young, I thought voters would be looking for a combination of new energy and experience,” he said. “And I think that’s what happened today.”
Two-term incumbent Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, dominated the District 120 race, winning re-election with 2,946 votes. Republican Davian Akers received 648 votes, while Green Independent Justine Lynn received 611.
District 120 includes the city’s East End, Old Port and downtown.
Russell, 36, is a public relations consultant who first sought office while working as a clerk at Colucci’s Hilltop Market on Munjoy Hill.