BELFAST, Maine — Bolstered by a strong showing in his home town of Searsport, William Shorey defeated two-term Waldo County Commissioner John Hyk by a comfortable plurality.
Shorey upset the incumbent Hyk with a vote of 3,362 to 3,177. Most of the damage to Hyk was done in Searsport where Shorey outpolled him with a vote of 929 to 459. Each candidate ended up carrying four of the commission district’s eight towns.
Hyk pulled a winning 262 to 102 vote in his hometown of Prospect, won Winterport with a vote of 1,052 to 910, won Jackson with a vote of 128 to 123, and Monroe with a vote of 256 to 226.
Along with Searsport, Shorey captured Swanville with a vote of 333 to 311, took Stockton Springs with a vote of 462 to 453, and carried Frankfort with a vote of 277 to 262.
Shorey was likely helped by the fact that he ran as a Democrat while Hyk has run all his races as an independent. Sen. Barack Obama brought a number of new Democratic voters to the polls Tuesday, and Shorey may have benefited from the president elect’s coattails.
Shorey and Hyk squared off more than a decade ago in a water dispute when Hyk was a selectman from Prospect and Shorey headed the Searsport Water District. The district drilled a new production well in Prospect without informing its residents and the situation was only resolved when the district convinced the Legislature to amend its charter to permit the extraction of water from Prospect. The fight was costly both to the town and the district, and the relationship between the two men has been strained ever since.