Incumbent Priest fends off challenge in Brunswick's House District 63

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BRUNSWICK — State Rep. Charles Priest, D-Brunswick, was challenged for his House District 63 seat for the first time Tuesday, but still managed to get 68 percent of the vote.

Priest defeated Republican John Bouchard of Brunswick, 3,185 to 1,451, according to unofficial results.

The district contains most of Bowdoin College and outlying neighborhoods beyond the downtown area.

Priest attributed his success, in part, to the district’s political ideology, along with his support of same-sex marriage and the backing of many Bowdoin students who vote in the district.

“During the last week of my campaign, I was able to go through a number of dorms at Bowdoin” to talk to students, Priest said Wednesday morning. The effort was made possible by the college Democratic Party group and Jackie Sartoris, vice chairwoman of the Brunswick Democratic Committee.

“I’m very pleased and grateful to all of the folks who worked for me and supported  me,” Priest said, “and I know that’s a cliche thing to say, but it’s true.”

Priest said he would like to focus on bringing more jobs to Brunswick Landing and advancing a single-player health-care bill that he said has a higher chance of passing because the Democrats will regain control of the Legislature.

Bouchard, a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Brunswick, said he thought he did pretty well, considering he was running in a “real left-leaning district.”

He said his stance against same-sex marriage and the state bond issues might have also hurt his chances.

“I was against the bond issues and I don’t think a lot of people realize the fiscal impact (passing them) will have,” he said.

Bouchard said he enjoyed his time campaigning and getting to know the electorate of his district, but it’s too soon to say whether he will seek public office again.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.

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