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Daniel wins Harpswell selectman seat in landslide

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Daniel wins Harpswell selectman seat in landslide

HARPSWELL — Rick Daniel won a seat on the Board of Selectmen in a landslide vote at the March 9 Town Meeting.

Official results gave Daniel 443 votes, or 65 percent of the votes cast in the three-way contest. Ellen Shillinglaw, with 156 votes, and C. Matthew Rich, with 82, trailed Daniel.

Meanwhile, uncontested candidates Linda Hall, Jill Caldwell and Rosalind Knight were re-elected to their respective positions as School Administrative District 75 director, tax collector and town clerk.

Daniel, who runs a carpentry business, attributed his wide-margin victory to his prior involvement with municipal government and community groups.

"I'm excited to work alongside (Board of Selectmen Chairwoman) Elinor Multer and (Selectman) Alison Hawkes to serve the town of Harpswell as effectively as we can," Daniel said.

He said some of his goals include selling, leasing or at least marketing Mitchell Field to a business in the near future, and finding a tenant for the former West Harpswell School building.

In light of proposed cuts in state subsidies, Daniel said he wants to try to make the town work with reduced funding if it must.

Daniel replaces former Selectman Jim Henderson.

Shillinglaw, a former policy worker, said she lost because she hasn't been a Harpswell resident for nearly as long as Daniel.

"He's been here 25 years and he's done his dues," Shillinglaw said. "I brought a fresh eye, but I can't compete (with Daniel's record with the town). I got involved as quick as I could."

Shillinglaw, a member of the Town Lands Committee and Board of Appeals, said she plans to run for selectman again when there is another vacancy. 

Rich, a lawyer, said he had no comment other than that the news should be focused on Daniel's victory.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.