Special election in state Senate District 19 set for Aug. 27

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BATH — A special election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 27, to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Sen. Seth Goodall, D-Richmond.

Goodall, who was serving his third term since being elected in 2008, resigned July 10 to become New England regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

District 19 is composed of Sagadahoc County, and the Lincoln County town of Dresden. The Democratic, Green Independent and Republican committees of both counties have until 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, to file a nomination certificate with the secretary of state in order to put a candidate on the special election ballot, according to a July 15 state press release.

The Sagadahoc County Democratic Committee will hold its caucus at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham from 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 22.

Three Democrats have said they are running: Will Neilson, an Arrowsic restaurant owner; attorney and Bath City Councilor David Sinclair, and Eloise Vitelli, a workforce development specialist from Arrowsic.

The Republican caucus will be held at the Smith-Toby American Legion Hall on Congress Avenue in Bath at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23.

Paula Benoit, a Phippsburg resident who represented District 19 for two years before losing the seat to Goodall in 2008, is the only declared Republican candidate.

The Green Independent Party was scheduled to hold its caucus Wednesday night. Fred Horch, treasurer of the party, told the Bangor Daily News last week that at least one candidate would seek the nomination, while “a couple of other people (were) mulling it over.”

Gov. Paul LePage, in a July 15 press release, urged District 19 residents to vote in the special election. “This is an excellent opportunity to elect a senator who will work to decrease the tax burden on Mainers, reduce the cost of electricity, improve opportunities for job creation and halt the growth of government,” LePage said.

Nomination petitions for candidates not enrolled in a party can be obtained from the state Division of Elections. Non-party candidate petitions require at least 200 signatures of district voters and have to be filed with the secretary of state by 5 p.m. July 30.

Anyone who wants to run as a write-in candidate must file a declaration of write-in candidacy with the secretary of state by 5 p.m. Aug. 6.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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.