FALMOUTH — It was a rough day for legislative incumbents Tuesday.
Sen. Gerald Davis, R-Falmouth, was unseated in Senate District 11 by independent Dick Woodbury of Yarmouth, while incumbent Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Falmouth, who was challenged by Republican Mark Richard, barely held her House District 112 seat.
Woodbury had an unofficial total of 7,805 votes to 6,665 for Davis. Despite dropping out of the race more than a month ago, Democratic candidate Cindy Bullens finished third with 2,411. Green Independent candidate Christopher Miller received 892 votes.
District 11 includes Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island and Long Island.
“I’ve had a unique and important niche as an independent voice that moderates between the two sides,” Woodbury said. “I think voters really responded to that this year.”
He added that he wanted to thank Davis for his years of service to the state, as well as for the quality of his campaign.
Woodbury, 49, has a doctorate in economics from Harvard and is an economist and program administrator with the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served in the state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008.
Davis, 74, served in the state House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006 and was seeking re-election after his first term in the Senate. He said he would not run again and that he is looking forward to playing more golf.
“I wish Mr. Woodbury all the luck in the world,” Davis said. “He ran a good campaign. That’s all there is to it.”
He added that he wanted to thank his campaign workers, who, he said did an excellent job.
Nelson narrowly kept the House District 112 seat she initially won in 2008. She received 2,397 votes to 2,308 for Richard. Nelson previously spent six years as a Falmouth town councilor.
She said she was not surprised by how close the race was.
“I think it was a very hard year for any incumbents,” she said. “But I worked hard to get out and talk with voters.”
Nelson said she knocked on more than 2,000 doors while she was campaigning.
“I voted for the person who stopped by our house,” Gregg Levey, a Falmouth resident said as he left the polls Tuesday. “(Nelson) seemed to really care, unlike the other guy, who I met for the first time here when he shook my hand.”
House District 113 will have a new representative. Retiring Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion, a Democrat, defeated Republican Jason Harris, 2,581 to 1,683. District 113 includes a portion of west Falmouth and the North Deering neighborhood of Portland.
Dion replaces one-term Rep. Joan Cohen, D-Portland, who did not seek re-election.
Lunt, Plummer-Motz petition
A citizen petition asking the Falmouth Town Council to send the issue of what to do with the Plummer-Motz and Lunt school buildings after the school vacates them next summer was signed by 1,103 Falmouth residents.
“About 75 percent of the people we ask are saying yes,” said petition organizer Amy Winton, who said she stood at the petition table at Falmouth High School from 7 a.m. until the polls closed.
“By 8 a.m. we had 100 signatures,” she added.
In addition to asking for a vote, petition language calls the project “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save these historic buildings for continued civic use such as a larger library, a much-needed community center for adult and children’s programming, and public outdoor space.”
Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org