Lebida defeats Topsham incumbent Baker in GOP state Senate primary

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TOPSHAM — State Sen. Linda Baker, R-Topsham, Wednesday said she is unsure if she will seek a recount after losing by 37 votes in Tuesday’s District 23 Republican primary.

Guy Lebida of Bowdoin received 1,009 votes, or nearly 51 percent of the tally, compared with Baker’s 972, according to results compiled by the Bangor Daily News.

Baker sought a second, two-year term in the district, which includes all of Sagadahoc County and the Lincoln County town of Dresden. 

If the result holds, Lebida will face former state Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic, the Democrat unseated by Baker two years ago.

“If you’re true to yourself, and if you’re honest, and if you work hard, you really never lose,” Baker said. “… All things are the way they’re supposed to be, so I’m not sure (whether to ask for a recount).”

In an April interview, Lebida criticized Baker’s voting record, citing as an example her vote a year ago in favor of LD 369, which as amended granted welfare for two years to non-citizens, specifically those seeking asylum. That bill passed 29-5, with all five dissenting votes coming from Republicans.

Gov. Paul LePage, also a Republican, endorsed Lebida earlier this month.

Lebida, who owns Our Father’s Business – a construction and excavation company – and Bowdoin Pines mobile home park, could not be reached for comment early Wednesday.

Lebida was a 1st lieutenant in the Army National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers, and was chairman and a member of the Planning Board in Bar Harbor, where he owned, built and developed Stone Haven Cottages and Condominiums.

He chaired the Republican Committee in Bowdoin until March, and is vice chairman of the Sagadahoc County Republican Committee. Lebida ran for Sagadahoc County commissioner four years ago.

Baker taught in Bath from 1980-1985, and at Mt. Ararat High School from 1985-2011. She later taught at Merrymeeting Adult Education.

Baker also served on the Board of Selectmen for three years in the 1980s, spent five years on the Blaine House Scholarship Selection Committee, and 10 on the Jobs for Maine Graduates Advisory Board.

As a senator, she chaired the Marine Resources Committee, and served on the Committee on Bills in the Second Reading, and the Insurance and Financial Services committee.

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.