Partisans prep for primaries in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Partisans in South Portland, Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth will vote Tuesday, June 12, in primaries for both chambers of Congress and the Statehouse, county commissioner and county register of probate. 

Most party races are uncontested, so candidates for the November general election are all but decided. Still, a handful of contests won’t be set until after Tuesday’s vote, including the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The only local issue to be decided Tuesday is a school budget validation referendum in Cape Elizabeth. Voters will decide whether to approve the $20.7 million fiscal 2013 budget, an increase of $672,000, or about 3.4 percent, over the current fiscal year. 

U.S. Senate

The battle to replace Snowe is the most candidate-heavy of any of the primaries.

State Sen. Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth, former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap of Old Town, state Rep. Jon Hinck and homebuilder Justin “Ben” Pollard, both of Portland, are vying for the Democratic nomination.

The Republican primary is even more crowded, with former Senate President Richard Bennett of Oxford, former Lisbon Falls Selectman Scott D’Amboise, state Sen. Debra Plowman of Hampden, state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin of Georgetown, Attorney General William Schneider of Durham, and Secretary of State Charles Summers Jr. of Scarborough hoping to seek Snowe’s coveted seat in November.

There are no Green candidates on the ballot.

The winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries will face opposition in November from a handful of independent candidates: former Gov. Angus King of Brunswick, conservative activist Andrew Ian Dodge of Harpswell, Yarmouth Town Council Chairman Steve Woods and Brunswick resident Danny Dalton.

U.S. House

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-North Haven, is unchallenged in her party primary.

Republicans Patrick Calder, a Portland merchant marine, and state Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney of Springvale oppose each other for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

Maine Senate

In Senate District 6 – which includes Gorham and parts of Scarborough and Westbrook – Democrats James A. Boyle of Gorham and Rep. Timothy E. Driscoll, D-Westbrook, are vying for their party’s nomination. Ruth Summers, a Scarborough Republican and the wife of the secretary of state, is running unopposed. Incumbent Sen. Phil Bartlett, D-Gorham, is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.

Senate District 7 will be given up by Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, who opted to make a go for U.S. Senate. Democrats in Scarborough, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth will choose Rep. Bryan Kaenrath, D-South Portland, or Rebecca Millett of Cape Elizabeth for their party’s nomination. The winner will face Gary Crosby of South Portland, the uncontested Republican nominee.

Cumberland County

Two Democrats, South Portland City Councilor Thomas Coward and former state representative Boyd Marley, both of South Portland, are vying for the County Commissioner seat now held by Richard Feeney in District 4. District 4 includes Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, South Portland, and Portland Precinct 5-2. No Republican is on the ballot.

Incumbent Register of Probate John O’Brien of Portland is challenged in the Democratic primary by Nancy Thurber of Falmouth.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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Where to vote

• Cape Elizabeth: High school gymnasium, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Scarborough: High school gymnasium, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

• South Portland: All polling places open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. District 1: Boys & Girls Club, 169 Broadway; District 2: American Legion Hall, 413 Broadway; Districts 3 and 4: South Portland Community Center, 21 Nelson Road; District 5: Redbank Community Center, MacArthur Circle West.