ELLSWORTH, Maine — The departure of two veteran legislators because of term limits this year has opened their seats for candidates in the coming elections.
Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, and House Speaker Hannah Pingree, D-North Haven, are prevented from seeking another term by the state’s term limits. In the case of Damon’s Senate seat, it has set off a domino effect with two sitting representatives running for the post.
Candidates had until March 15 to file papers with the secretary of state.
Damon represents Senate District 28, which includes Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Township 8, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Frenchboro, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mount Desert, Sedgwick, Sorrento, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Sullivan, Surry, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Trenton and Winter Harbor in Hancock County and the Knox County town of Isle au Haut.
Incumbent Reps. James Schatz, D-Blue Hill, and Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth, are seeking to fill Damon’s Senate seat, as is former state legislator Lawrence “Skip” Greenlaw. Langley will be the only Republican candidate for the seat, but Schatz and Greenlaw will face off in the Democratic primary in June.
The decisions by Schatz and Langley to seek a Senate seat have opened up their seats in Maine’s House of Representatives. Two candidates from each party are seeking to fill Schatz’s House District 37 seat, which represents Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville and Benjamin Wooten of Blue Hill will face off in the Democratic primary, and Madeleine Gay Leach of Castine and Jonathan Walden of Surry will be the contenders in the Republican primary.
There are two Republican candidates for Langley’s seat from House District 38 representing Ellsworth, Otis and Trenton. Matthew Boucher of Ellsworth and Michael Povich, the county’s district attorney who is not seeking re-election to that post, will be the candidates in the Republican primary. The winner will face the sole Democrat to file, Louis Luchini of Ellsworth, in the November election.
Three candidates filed for Pingree’s House District 36 covering Brooklin, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, North Haven, Stonington, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Vinalhaven and part of Mount Desert, but none faces a challenge in the primaries. They are John T. Harrington of Deer Isle, the Green Party candidate, Democrat Walter A. Kumiega III of Deer Isle and Republican Jacqueline John Spofford of Bar Harbor.
Two Republicans will face off in the primary for the House District 40 seat representing Bucksport and Orrington. Richard H. Campbell of Orrington will challenge the incumbent representative Kimberly C. Rosen of Bucksport. The winner will face Democrat Mark J. LeBlanc of Orrington in the November election.
There also will be a Republican primary for House District 34 representing Gouldsboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Township 8. Earl L. Bierman of Sorrento and Richard S. Malaby of Hancock will face off for the right to challenge incumbent Democrat Rep. Robert N. Eaton of Sullivan.
In House District 20, which includes the Hancock County town of Dedham as well as the Penobscot County communities of Clifton, Eddington, Holden and part of Brewer, Republicans Darren M. Hall of Holden and David D. Johnson of Eddington will be on the primary ballot. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Benja-min Pratt of Eddington.
District Attorney Povich’s decision not to seek re-election opens up that elected post, which serves Hancock and Washington counties. Two Republican candidates will be on the ballot in the June primary: Donald F. Brown of Bucksport and Matthew J. Foster of Ellsworth. The winner will face the current assistant district attorney, Democrat Carletta M. Bassano of Ellsworth.
In addition, Steven Juskewitch of Dedham, an independent, has filed as a candidate for district attorney with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.