Portland returns incumbents to Maine House

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PORTLAND — Democrats held firm all across the city Tuesday in races for the Maine House of Representatives, except in House District 40, where independent Ben Chipman held even firmer.

Chipman, who defeated former Democratic Rep. Herb Adams for the second time, was the only non-Democrat to win a seat in one of the city’s eight House districts.

All districts are newly created with data from the 2010 U.S. Census. Each winner will serve a two-year term.

In House District 36, incumbent Rep. Denise Harlow, the daughter of former City Councilor, Mayor and state Rep. Charles Harlow, swept away challenges from Republican Richard Dodge and Green Independent Samuel Chandler. Harlow earned 60 percent of the vote, winning 1,837 to 739 over Dodge, while Chandler trailed with 479 votes.

House District 36 covers the northern and western portion of the city to the Westbrook border.

In House District 37, incumbent Rep. Richard Farnsworth was unopposed after Republican Jonathan Pfaff withdrew from the race in early September. Farnsworth won a second consecutive term with 3,125 votes. He also served in the House in the late 1990s.

House District 37 covers a portion of Libbytown and west through Stroudwater to Westbrook.

In District 38, on the city’s West End, Democratic Rep. Matthew Moonen easily turned aside a challenge from Republican Thomas Loring, winning a second term 3,188 to 593.

Rep. Diane Russell won a fourth term, now serving in House District 39, which covers the East End and Casco Bay Islands. Russell defeated Green Independent Lauren Besanko, 2,698 to 1,016. It was Besanko’s first campaign for office.

Chipman was running in the House District 40, covering the Bayside and Parkside neighborhoods and the areas near the University of Southern Maine. He defeated Adams, who served eight years in the House through 2010, 1,567 to 957. Republican Mark Lockman trailed with 181 votes.

“I think people were happy with the job I was doing and wanted to keep me. I think the numbers show it,” Chipman said.

Chipman also defeated Adams in 2012, 1,902 to 1,280. He said getting results, no matter which party is in the majority, is the key to getting re-elected.

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Erik Jorgensen, the former executive director of the Maine Humanities Council, won a second term by defeating Republican challenger Dr. James Azzola, 3,113 to 923. Jorgensen now serves in House District 41, covering the Deering neighborhoods along Stevens and Brighton avenues.

In House District 42, Democratic Rep. Peter Stuckey won a fourth term, beating Republican challenger Marc Lamontagne 2,511 to 1,119. Stuckey, who is also the ice hockey coach at Portland High School, serves in a district covering the north and east of Back Cove.

Rep. Mark Dion, a former Cumberland County Sheriff and city police officer, won a third term representing portions of northern Portland and west Falmouth in what is now House District 43. Dion defeated Republican Shannon Rafferty-Roy, 2,144 to 959.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.