Local legislators largely unchallenged

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff
Posted March 15, 2010, at 8:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Only one incumbent among five House and Senate members who represent the city of Bangor at the State House faces a primary challenge this June.

As of Monday — the filing deadline for legislative and gubernatorial candidates — only Steve Butterfield, who is finishing up his first term representing House District 16, will compete in a Democratic primary. He will be challenged by former Rep. and current Bangor City Councilor Pat Blanchette.

Reps. Adam Goode, House District 15, Sara Stevens, House District 17, Jim Martin, House District 18, and Sen. Joseph Perry, Senate District 32 — all Democrats — are unopposed this primary season.

Blanchette, who held the House District 16 seat for eight years between 2000 and 2008 before she was termed out, said she’s unsure whether she would keep her City Council seat if she were elected. Asked whether she was concerned about challenging a member of her own party, Blanchette said that didn’t cross her mind.

Butterfield, however, said he was surprised by the primary challenge.

“It doesn’t change much for me,” he said. “I think Maine voters have shown they favor fresh blood and new perspectives. It would be interesting if she tried to serve in the House and on the City Council at the same time.”

Goode, Stevens and Martin all are seeking re-election to their second House terms. Perry is serving his third term as a senator, and he previously served four terms in the House.

On the other side of the political aisle, there is one Republican primary for a seat in the Bangor area. William Davis Osmer and James Parker will battle in June to take on Martin for House District 18.

Other Republican candidates who are running unopposed in the primary include: Joshua Hiatt, House District 15, Doug Damon, House District 16, Katrin Teel, House District 17, and Nichi Farnham, Senate District 32.

Cary Weston, chair of the Bangor Republican Committee, said he was happy with the enthusiasm of the GOP candidates.

“We always used to talk about recruiting, but things have shifted to engagement,” he said. “This year, more than ever, people seem engaged.”

Weston called Farnham the head of the ticket and said the Senate race could influence the House races if she does well.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/03/15/politics/local-legislators-largely-unchallenged/ printed on July 30, 2014