GOP House wins: Timmons over Denno, Chace unseats Graham

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CUMBERLAND — Republican Mike Timmons narrowly defeated Democrat Dale Denno, 2,472 to 2,446, Tuesday to win the state House District 45 seat.

Meanwhile, Durham Republican Paul Chace unseated Rep. Anne Graham, D-North Yarmouth, 2,503 to 2,295, in House District 46.

Timmons and Denno, both of Cumberland, ran for the redistricted House District 45, which includes Cumberland and a southern section of Gray. Timmons replaces state Rep. Steve Moriarty, D-Cumberland, who represented District 108, which also included a portion of North Yarmouth, as well as Chebeague Island and Long Island.

Denno won 2,195 to 2,172 in Cumberland, while fellow Cumberland resident Timmons took Gray by 300-251.

“I’m excited to have the race,” Timmons said Tuesday night. “I really didn’t expect it to be this close, but I believe I can move forward and honor the promises that I made to my constituents. And that is that I will work for the taxpayers.”

Denno said he would not seek a recount. “I worked hard; Mike worked hard,” he noted. “And I certainly wish him the best.”

Timmons, formerly of Windham, now lives on Bruce Hill Road at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, where he has been president for six years. His 47 years in education included time as a school principal, assistant superintendent, special education director and teacher. He retired two years ago.

Timmons also served five years on the Windham Town Council, including a year as its chairman. He additionally spent time on the town’s Board of Assessment Review.

He has taken part in fundraisers for Camp Sunshine, the Make-A-Wish foundation and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, and was named Maine High School Principal of the Year in 1989, Honored Lions Person of the Year in 2006, and Maine Agricultural Person of the Year in 2012.

Timmons also has experience in Augusta. Gov. Paul LePage appointed him last year to the Maine Harness Racing Commission. If elected to the House he said he would have to step down from the commission.

Denno has lived in Cumberland for about 30 years, served on the School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors from 1991-1997, and was its chairman in 1995-1996.

The Main Street resident retired in December 2013 from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, where he was director of the Office for Family Independence. He worked directly with the Legislature for more than two years in that capacity.

House District 46

Chace and Graham ran in a redrawn district that includes North Yarmouth, Durham, and half of Pownal. Graham’s former District 109, where she served two terms, included parts of North Yarmouth, Gray and Pownal.

Graham won by 1,291 to 841 in North Yarmouth and 319-290 in Pownal. Chace’s 1,372-to-685 lead in Durham secured him victory.

Chace expressed gratitude Wednesday to the people in his district’s towns.

“I take very seriously the responsibility that I’m being offered here, and I’m looking forward to taking my experiences in business and health care, and working with the folks in the district to help continue to support and sustain our good schools, and job opportunities,” he said.

Chace has been a pharmacist for almost 25 years. He is a member of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Durham Rod and Gun Club and the National Rifle Association, and served eight years on the Maine Board of Pharmacy.

This was his first campaign for elected office.

Graham is a nurse practitioner, part of the adjunct faculty at St. Joseph’s College, and served on the North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen from 2007-2010.

She also started the North Yarmouth Economic Development and Sustainability Committee, represented North Yarmouth on a school consolidation committee, and headed Foundation 51, the independent educational foundation for Cumberland and North Yarmouth schools. She also has served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Health Systems Development.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.