Election

Poliquin tops Caruso, Sartoris defeats Sarhbeck in Maine’s June primary elections

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Republican Bruce Poliquin defeated Elizabeth Caruso in the June 14 primary for the U.S. House Maine District 2 seat. 

With approximately 74 percent of votes counted on the morning of June 15, Poliquin had received 60 percent of the vote. Caruso received 40 percent. Poliquin will face current Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) this Nocember, who defeated Poliquin and won the seat in the 2018 election.

Both the Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. House Maine District 1 were uncontested. Ed Thelander was the only Republican in the primary race and will face current Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) in November.

The Republican and Democratic primaries for Maine’s gubernatorial race were also uncontested. Current Gov. Janet Mills will face former governor Paul LePage, who served two terms between 2011 and 2019. 

A special election for the State Senate District 7 seat was won by Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth). Grohoski currently represents House District 132, which includes the towns of Ellsworth and Trenton. Grohoski defeated Republican candidate Bryan Langley and Green Independent Party candidate Ben Meiklejohn.

With approximately 85 percent of the votes counted on the morning of June 15, Grohoski had received 65 percent of the vote. Langley received 35 percent of the vote and Meiklejohn received 1 percent.

The seat was previously held by Sen. Louis Luchini (D-Hancock), who resigned in January in order to take a position as Region 1 Advocate for the U.S. Small Business Association. Grohoski will serve the remainder of Luchini’s term.

The seat will be up for election again in November and Grohoski and Langley will face off once more in the general election.

Jacqueline Sartoris defeated Jonathan Sahrbeck in the Democratic primary for Cumberland County District Attorney. With just under 95 percent of votes counted as of the morning of June 15, Sartoris had received 65 percent of the vote. Sahrbeck received 35 percent.

Sartoris’ campaign received support from Democracy II, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee (PAC) funded by George Soros. According to the Maine Ethics Commission, the Maine Justice and Public Safety PAC, which was registered in May 2022 to support Sartoris, received $300,000 from Democracy II. 

Two Republican primaries for seats in the state’s legislature had the potential to trigger ranked-choice voting runoffs. 

The race for State House District 79 saw current Rep. John Andrews (R-Paris) face Ryan Ricci and Dannie Abbott.

Receiving just over 50 percent of the vote, Andrews narrowly avoided a run-off resulting from the state’s use of ranked-choice voting. Ricci received 28 percent of the vote and Abbott received 21 percent, with 94 percent of votes counted as of the morning of June 15.

The Republican primary for State Senate District 16 also had three candidates: Michael Perkins, Kevin Kitchin and Mark Andre.

With 95 percent of the votes counted as of the morning of June 15, no candidate had received a majority of the vote, meaning a run-off is likely. Perkins was leading with 44 percent of the vote. Kitchin was in second place with 38 percent of the vote. In last place, Andre received 17 percent.

The winner of the race will face David LaFountain, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The seat is currently held by Sen. Scott Cyrway (R-Kennebec), who is ineligible to run again because of the state’s term limits.

Maine Republican leadership commented on the June primaries, saying 2022 is the ”second statewide Maine election in a row where voters rejected Janet Mills and Joe Biden’s agenda.”

“The Maine Republican Party is unified and energized going into the fall. Paul LePage, Bruce Poliquin, Ed Thelander, and a historically strong crop of Maine House and Senate candidates will run hard and give Mainers a choice. Maine Republicans represent a path out of stagnation, high costs, and complete incompetence,” said Maine GOP chair Demi Kouzonas in a statement.

About Katherine Revello

Katherine Revello is a reporter for The Maine Wire. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine. Her writing has appeared in Reason, The Washington Examiner, and various other publications. Got news tips? Contact Katherine at krevello@mainepolicy.org.

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