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Competitive race shaping up in Maine State Senate special election

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July 26, 2013

Maine

By Nick Katers

AUGUSTA, Maine: Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap recently called for a special election on August 27, 2013 to fill the vacant District 19 seat in the State Senate.[1] The vacancy was left by Seth Goodall (D) when he assumed a regional directorship with the U.S. Small Business Administration. District 19 has seen Republican and Democratic legislators in the past two decades. The emergence of former State Senator Paula Benoit (R) and Eloise Vitelli (D) as candidates could continue the district’s competitive history.

Benoit was nominated as the Republican candidate for District 19 during a July 23 county caucus. She served in the Senate from 2007-2009 after defeating incumbent Arthur Mayo who switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.[2] Vitelli was selected by the Sagadahoc County Democratic Party on July 22 for the special election. She is the program director at a business development group called Women, Work and Community. Social worker Daniel Stromgren is running for the vacant seat as the Green Independent Party candidate.[3]

A candidate forum has been scheduled for Friday, August 23 at the Topsham Municipal Building.[4] Vitelli wants to be a moderating influence in the Senate. “I guess I am old enough to take the long view, and recognize that things don’t happen overnight, that we have to work together to find solutions,” said Vitelli after her nomination.[5] After announcing her candidacy, Benoit cited her business experiences as an asset to the state legislature. “It is imperative that our state government lives within its means and allow Mainers to keep more of their hard-earned money,” argued Benoit.[5]


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