2012 elections review: No incumbents defeated in Maine

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June 13, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

With primary season in full swing across the country, Maine voters went to the polls yesterday to make their choices known.

Here's what happened in U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Maine State Senate and Maine House primary elections.

Contested Primaries in Maine -- June 12, 2012
U.S. House
(2 seats)
State Legislature
(42 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 0 (0%) 24 (12.77%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 2 (100%) 18 (9.57%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Maine, 2012

In a competitive race for Senate, 4 Democratic candidates and 6 Republican candidates ran in the primary election to decide who will advance to the general election to fill the open seat created by the retirement of Republican incumbent Olympia Snowe.[1] First elected in 1994, Snowe cited excessive partisanship as a reason why she did not seek re-election.[2].

In addition to the major party candidates, three Independent candidates, including former Governor Angus King, will run in the general election. As of March 22, the race frontrunner was Independent candidate King, who has yet to declare a party affiliation.[3] The Cook Political Report is leaving the race rating for the open Senate seat as a Tossup.[3]

Despite initial reports that House incumbents Chellie Pingree (D) and Mike Michaud (D) will run for Snowe's Senate seat, both decided to run for re-election unopposed in their congressional districts. Former Governor John Baldacci was another candidate to initially express interest, but later withdrew from the race.

On the Democratic ticket, candidates included Benjamin Pollard, former Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, state senator Cynthia Dill, and state representative Jon Hinck. state senator Cynthia Dill defeated the other candidates to win the Democratic nomination and advance to the general election.

In the Republican primary, Secretary of State Charles Summers defeated candidates Scott D'Amboise, former President of Maine State Senate Richard Bennett, state senator Debra Plowman, Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, and Maine Attorney General William Schneider in the race for the Republican nomination.[4]

Summers will face Cynthia Dill (D) in the general election for U.S. Senate.

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Maine, 2012

Maine had a total of 2 seats on the ballot in 2012. A total of 6 candidates filed to run, made up of only 4 Republican challengers, and 2 Democratic incumbents. A total of 228 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 62.94% of possible primaries have been contested. Maine's contested figure of 50.00% (2 out of 4 possible party primaries) is less competitive than the national average.

In the 2 congressional districts, there were only 2 Republican races contested, with two or more candidates running. The Democratic incumbents, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, both ran unopposed in their primaries.

In the 1st District, incumbent Chellie Pingree ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. On the Republican ticket, candidates Patrick Calder and current Maine State Senate majority leader Jonathan Courtney battled for the nomination to advance to the general election to take on Pingree. At the end of night, reports went out that the race was too close to call,[5] and with 90% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning around 200 votes separated the two candidates.[4] Even with 100% of precincts reporting and Courtney leading Calder by a few hundred votes, no decisive victor was decided.[4]

In the 2nd District, Republican candidate Maine State Senate President Kevin Raye defeated Blaine Richardson in the Republican primary. Raye will face incumbent Mike Michaud (D) in the general election.

Members of the U.S. House from Maine -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 2 2
     Republican Party 0 0
Total 2 2

State legislature

Maine State Senate elections, 2012 and Maine House of Representatives elections, 2012

There are 186 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 35 Senate seats and 151 House seats.

There were 24 (12.77%) contested Democratic primaries and 18 (9.57%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 42 races yesterday with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 11.17% figure of total contested primaries in Maine is lower than the current national contested average of 22.84% for states that have had filing deadlines.


A total of 13 incumbents - 7 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 1 Independent - did not run for re-election in 2012. Ten of these - 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans - could not run due to term limits. None of the incumbents running faced a primary challenge.

Republicans currently control the chamber by a margin of 20-14-1.

Five primaries included current House incumbents, and the Democrats booted out two House incumbents in favor of candidates not currently in office.

Democratic Party District 5: The Democratic nomination went to Linda Valentino over Donald Pilon, both of whom currently serve in the House of Representatives and are term-limited.[6] Incumbent Sen. Barry Hobbins (D) is also term-limited and could not seek re-election.
Democratic Party District 6: Newcomer James Boyle bested term-limited House District 126 incumbent Timothy Driscoll for the Democratic nomination in this district. Incumbent Sen. Philip Bartlett (D) is term limited and could not seek re-election.
Democratic Party District 7: House District 124 incumbent Bryan Kaenrath lost the Democratic primary to Rebecca Millett.[6] Incumbent Sen. Cynthia Dill (D), who is not term-limited, is who sought election to the U.S. Senate.
Republican Party District 20: House District 53 incumbent Leslie Fossel won the Republican primary against Stuart Smith. Fossel will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Christopher Johnson in the fall elections.[6]
Republican Party District 29: Incumbent Sen. Kevin Raye (R) is term-limited and seeking election to the U.S. House. The Republican primary is between House District 32 incumbent David C. Burns and Kathleen Caso. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, Burns led Caso 68 percent to 32 percent in the unofficial vote totals.[6]
Democratic Party District 4: This primary did not include a House incumbent, but David Dutremble will likely go on to be a State Senator after besting James A. Emerson in this contest; no Republican candidate has filed to run for this seat.[6]


A total of 46 incumbents - 21 Democrats, 24 Republicans and 1 Independent - did not run for re-election in 2012. Twenty-six of these - 14 Democrats and 12 Republicans - could not run due to term limits.

Republicans currently control the chamber by a narrow seven seat margin.

Of the incumbents running, only five faced a primary challenge. All of them won:

Republican Party District 20: Incumbent David Johnson defeated John Williams. Results are pending.
Democratic Party District 37: Incumbent Ralph Chapman defeated James Schatz
Democratic Party District 135: Incumbent Paulette Beaudoin defeated Joanne Twomey
Democratic Party District 136: Incumbent Megan Rochelo defeated Bobby Mills
Democratic Party District 137: Incumbent Alan Casavant defeated Nancy Sullivan

The closest race of the night came in the District 47 Republican primary. Unofficial results show Gordon Mank defeated James Raye by just three votes, 165-162. Raye said he will ask for a recount.[7]

Maine State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 15 21
     Republican Party 19 13
     Independent 1 1
Total 35 35

Maine House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 71 86
     Republican Party 77 61
     Independent 1 4
     Non-voting 2 2
     Vacancy 2 0
Total 153 153

See also

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