Democrat wins Maine Senate seat in special election

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February 15, 2012

By Greg Janetka


AUGUSTA, Maine: In what is being called a "significant upset," Democrat Chris Johnson defeated Republican state Rep. Dana Dow in a special election to take the District 20 state Senate seat. With unofficial results Tuesday night showing Dow trailing 3,191-2,758, he threw in the towel and conceded the race. It is the first time Democrats will have held the seat since 2002.[1]

Both sides were quick to paint the election as a referendum on Gov. Paul LePage (R). Dow stated, "I would simply say this vote represents a referendum on the governor and maybe the (Department of Health and Human Services) budget we are trying to get passed."[1] In a press release Maine Democratic Party Chair Ben Grant said, "Paul LePage's agenda is wrong for Maine and Republican legislators have been far too willing to fall in line in the face of mounting evidence that the GOP's plans aren't working."[2]

Once Johnson is sworn in, Republicans will have a 19-15 majority, with one Independent. The election was held to replace David Trahan (R) who resigned in December 2011 in order to take over as the new executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine.[3]

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