NEWPORT, Maine — Kenneth Fredette held a narrow lead early Wednesday morning over Robert Emrich in a primary contest for the House District 25 seat in the Newport area.
Emrich and Fredette, both Republicans, had gathered 454 and 476 votes respectively as of 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to data compiled by the Bangor Daily News. Four of the five towns in the district, Corinth, Exeter, Newport and Plymouth, had reported their results, leaving only the town of Corinna.
Fredette, a Newport-based lawyer, is well-known in the area for coaching youth sports and being a member of several community organizations.
Emrich, pastor of the Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church in Plymouth, has a wider reputation as the founder of the Jeremiah Project, a group that champions socially conservative values. In 2009, Emrich led a successful citizen-initiated repeal of a new law that would have allowed same-sex marriage in Maine.
Neither candidate could be reached for comment around midnight Tuesday. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will face Democrat Frederick Austin in the November election. The District 25 House seat is held by Rep. Josh Tardy, R-Newport, who since January 2009 has been the House Minority Leader. Tardy is forced out of office by term limits.